Thailand battles continually rising flood waters as the main river coursing through the capital of Bangkok swelled to record highs.
The flood water is filthy, and there is a very real risk of waterborne or communicable diseases such as diarrhea and skin infections taking hold among the local residents if they can’t maintain basic standards of hygiene.
The next threat could be lurking in the floodwater where a a two-meter (6.5-ft) snake was caught by a motorcycle taxi driver and residents have also had to contend with crocodiles escaping from flooded farms with some already caught by local residents.
Seven of Bangkok’s 50 districts, all in the northern outskirts are heavily flooded, and residents have fled aboard bamboo rafts and army trucks and by wading in waist-deep water. Another eight districts have seen less serious flooding.
The higher than normal tides in the Gulf of Thailand, expected to peak tomorrow, are obstructing the flood runoff from the north of the country, and there are fears that the overflows could hit parts of the city center.
The government is also worried that major barriers could break. This morning’s high tide passed without a major breach, but the waters briefly touched riverside areas closer to the city’s central businesses districts of Silom and Sathorn.
The flood walls protecting much of the inner city are 2.5 meters, and tomorrow’s high tide is expected to reach 2.6 meters (8.5ft).
Economic analysts have quoted that damage estimates of US$ 6 billion (£3.7 billion) could double if floods swamp Bangkok.
The floods, the heaviest in Thailand in more than half a century, have drenched a third of the country’s provinces, killed close to 400 people and displaced more than 110,000 others.
The water has crept from the central plains south toward the Gulf of Thailand. It is surrounded by massive pools of water flowing around and through the city via a complex network of canals and rivers.