ATLANTIS, VERSION TWO: COMMENCE.
Thailand is currently experiencing its most intense flooding in recent history. It's all but reaching catastrophic levels, in terms of scope at the very least. As of today, SIXTY of 77 provinces have been affected in some manner
, with 12 severly affected (water above 3 meters and counting) and 17 critically affected. Over 2.3 million
people are currently affected, with over 252 dead. Most of our dams are operating at peak or more capacity, which means that along with the flooding caused by rains alone, you also have the water that needs to be systematically released downstream to deal with.
I've been tweeting intermittenly about this since the flooding situation has really started getting worse here and is now kind of affecting me directly (always makes a thing different, doesn't it), but it has actually been ongoing since about July and I've mostly just discussed it with local friends and my family before. But the last few weeks and most importantly DAYS have shown that these are not the usual floods that are a yearly occurence in Thailand. Quite frankly, and what many are saying is that it's never been flooding THIS much before. People are used to a certain amount of hardship because of the floods, but it seems that now we have a perfect storm of the recent string of tropical depressions hitting SE Asia back to back, the monsoon rains from the rainy season and just not enough planning for effective waterways and deforestation over the years all culiminating into the epic shitshow that is going on here. We're not a country used to natural catastrophes-- now (military-backed) coups, on the other hand....--, so people aren't trained to make the "right" decisions, to evacuate instead of stubbornly staying in their houses with their possessions (again, also understandable) and this makes all the rescue and relief efforts all the more difficult.
(flood footage starts after ca 40 seconds. The aerial shot is just stupendous)
The water is UP TO FOUR METERS HIGH
in parts of Ayutthaya. 80% of that province is under water, and Lopburi, Singhburi and other low-lying provinces like Ang Thong are equally hard hit. At first one worried about the Northern provinces and they had had some pretty nasty floods earlier in the year, flash floods from the mountain rivers, some mudslides, but now it's Central and pretty much the rest of Thailand's turn. Only time will tell how long it'll take us to collectively drag ourselves out of this mess, and I can only hope our politicians get their heads out of their useless, corrupt asses to tackle this matter effectively. The military at least seems to be acquitting itself well in dispensing aid to people, I must admit. But what Thailand really needs to wake-up to after this is the fact that you fucking have to think of the enviromental factors when you plan/build things, especially in a country with our soil make-up, with our history of flooding. Our ancestors got it right, but of course greed makes you do other things instead. We're all so very short-sighted when it comes to this kind of planning and it is so, so completely frustrating to hope that this will change soon. Ugh.
But just to reassure everyone, we're fine here. Our province, being one of the surrounding ones between BKK and Ayutthaya is flooded, although the worst has thankfully still left our mooban and house untouched. The communities near the klongs and river are a whole 'nother matter though, and the flooding on the roads around those areas meant that I am inadvertantly stranded this weekend, as my tiny car wouldn't have been able to make it through the wall of water. Luckily Dad's Ford can still hack it, otherwise getting to work on Monday and the following week will sure be very interesting for all three of us. The next doomsdate that people are fearing is the 11th, when we're expecting the next amount of water to come down from one of the big dams. We shall see. Now that the waters are starting to rise in BKK, people there are suddenly panicking and emptying all the supermarkets etc of food and stockpiling. Everyone was counting on BKK to stay unscathed and now they're all rattled out of their "well it's upcountry. Not affecting me, tch" mentality. I mean, to give credit, people have really been donating a helluva lot and helping with the relief efforts but the last heavy flood that BKK had was over a DECADE ago. Bangkokians never expect to have to deal with such things.
The worries about the dams and if we can drain enough of the water through the dykes into the sea kind of feels like the BKK of The Wind-Up Girl
now, I have to say XD.