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Feature: Residents flee Bangkok as ‘worst scenario’ of flooding approaches

BANGKOK, Oct. 28 — "We have prepared almost everything, moving things upstairs, parking our car on an upper ground, but the situation just gets worse and worse, we have to flee the city, " said Chen Xiangxin, a resident in downtown Bangkok.

Chen told Xinhua that although his house has not been inundated yet, the family of five have prepared to move by a rented mini-bus packed with their belongings to Pattaya, a famous tourist attraction in Chon Buri about 2-hour's drive from Bangkok.

The 55-year-old Chinese descendant is one of thousands of Bangkok residents who took the special holiday from Oct. 27 to Oct. 31 to flee the city for fear that the capital might be overwhelmed by the flood water.

In the long-distance bus station in northern Bangkok, travelers were queuing up for tickets that would evacuate them to flood-free areas. Some of them came from other cities to take shelter in Bangkok but only find themselves stranded again.

The rush has prompted the transportation company to add around 1,000 bus trips to carry 200,000 passengers per day. However, many people get in stuck for at least 5 hours due to traffic jam on the outbound highways to Pattaya, Hua Hin and other destinations.

The Flood Relief Operation Command (FORC) said that it had provided shelters in nine provinces for Bangkok evacuees. Deputy governor of Kanchana-buri, a province to the northwest of Bangkok, decided Thursday to open temples and schools to accommodate thousands of evacuees from flood-hit areas including Bangkok for the next 30 days. In Pattaya, Hua Hin and other popular resorts, hotels are providing discounts for flood victims.

The flood has been ravaging the country for more than three months and left 377 people dead but showed no sign of receding. The water level of the Chao Phraya River Friday morning was measured at a record high of 2.47 meters above sea level. The FORC has warned people in Bangkok to brace for the "worst scenario" that might last for 15 days to a month. (PBA/Xinhua) RMA/LAM/utb

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