Tourists warned to avoid Bangkok as waters rise

Rising floodwaters has meant British holidaymakers have been warned to avoid all but essential travel to the Thai capital, prompting a mass evacuation from the city.

 

Evacuation orders have been sent to tens of thousands of people in the capital following changes made to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice. This is in response to the large volume of floodwater that is expected to hit the capital later this week.

 

More than 350 people have been killed from floods as a result of heavy rainfall causing widespread disruption in the worst flooding Thailand has seen in 50 years.

 

On Tuesday Bangkok and 20 provinces announced a five-day holiday giving people the chance to escape the rising waters.

 

Authorities are scrambling to try and pump water from the Bangkok region, however the risk of flooding has increased due to record-high water levels in the city’s Chao Phraya River, especially if heavy rain returns when the tide is high.

 

Bangkok’s second biggest airport Don Muang was forced to close yesterday until November 1 due to surrounding water in the area making access difficult for passengers and staff.

 

Residents of Don Muang and Bang Phlat districts have been told by Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra to leave for their own safety.

 

He said: “This is the first time I am using the term ‘eviction’, the first time I’m really asking you to leave”.

 

Thailand’s main airport Suvarnabhumi has not been affected because it was on higher ground. Thai Airways however, announced flights may be reduced because of staffing concerns.

 

The FCO website states: “We now advise against all but essential travel to the city of Bangkok and the 26 provinces in Thailand affected by flooding”.

 

“Our advice against all but essential travel does not include transit through Suvarnabhumi international airport. Flights to destinations elsewhere in Thailand (the resorts of Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket, and Koh Samui) continue to operate normally”.

 

Customers due to travel within the next few days should contact their airline or travel provider for the latest information.

 

By Charlotte Greenhalgh