Thursday, October 27, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere...More Flooding

To paraphrase Coleridge slightly from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, there's "Water, water everywhere, and nary a drop to drink" - and that's a story that can be told today from multiple districts throughout the Kingdom of Thailand.

Residents in many areas are already being told to boil their tap water before drinking it, as the flood levels around their homes rise inexorably higher. The situation continues to get worse, even as you read this today: the Chao Phraya continues to rise as it snakes its way through Bangkok, and the high tides predicted for this weekend stand to push the limitations of the sand bag levees, even if they DO hold - and they may not.

Nevertheless, the buoyant spirit of the Thai people can be seen in many instances in the media, such as in the clip up top, showing a couple of young men in front of a music store, singing a Bird Thongchai song as their feet dangle into the very water that's making their lives difficult today.

Soldiers wading through flood water while doing rescue work

Rope lines help in stronger currents as the rescue efforts continue

As in most cultures, people there are pulling together and helping each other - for the most part.  Some folks have ignored the warnings and remained in their homes to protect their belongings from looters, but that's also the same in many other countries and cultures.

A baby is handed back to its mother during rescue operations

An older monk carried to safety by a Thai soldier
It's going to get worse before it gets better.  Initial estimates are that the clean-up process could bring things back closer to normal by the end of December, but it's doubtful that such optimism will hold up after such devastation.

If there's anything that's made me smile it's been the photo below.  I have no respect whatsoever for what that clown and his minions have done to the Thai diet, so I was tickled to see him sitting in the (probably) filthy water.  Not a kind thought, I know - but that's how I feel about them.

More on this soon. By the way - none of the photos today are my own. I just picked some from the thousands already posted on the internet.


khunbaobao said...

Someone left a comment asking if Bangkok would be ready to accommodate a tour group by Christmas. My answer would be yes, to some extent - but nobody will be able to even make a guess until the waters subside.

My best guess (as the problems continue to grow today): the adventurous who are willing to roll with the punches would do fine, those requiring pampering probably would not.

khunbaobao said...

Actually the original comment was wondering if the country would be ready for a tour group by the end of NOVEMBER, and the answer to that is probably no - unless they're really hardy travelers.