Thailand’s Worst Flood in 50 Years

Photo: (CNN)

Thailand has never seen such catastrophic effect from the recent typhoons as the one that hit the country these past few days. Flooding has become the major threat not only to people and the economy of the country, but to their cultural heritage as well. Floodwaters as deep as three meters submerged portions of centuries-old Buddhist temple and possibly ruin these world heritage sites forever.

Thai officials are doing full-scale measures to minimize the impact of the epic flood and to prevent heavier casualties from a far more serious calamity should rains and downpours persist in the country. Current investigations point the uncontrollable rise of water levels to faulty water management in big dams and structural weakness of flood control dykes.

Here are some of the details about Thailand’s worst flood in 50 years.

  • The flood is the biggest and widest in the country, affecting eight million people in 76 provinces and over 120 million baht or $3.9 billion worth in damages.
  • Economy is expected to go down by at least one percent this year due to the massive loss of revenue. Big companies like Canon Inc., Honda Motor Co., and Toyota Motor Corp were bogged down by the flood and 10% of the country’s rice production was destroyed.
  • More people resort to panic-buying due to the constant threat of a series of typhoons and heavy downpour caused by the monsoon.
  • In some parts of Thailand, floodwaters reached 3 meters deep, a record high in the history of Ayutthaya.
  • Wat Chai Chaiwattnaram temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site worst hit by extensive flooding and threatens to be lost if heavy rains will continue unabated for the next few weeks or months.
  • The Buddhist temples that are partly submerged in floodwaters of Ayutthaya dates back 16th century and has been existing for more than 400 years – one big reason why this flood is a very serious issue for the country.
  • Due to the massive flooding in Ayutthaya, the province’s prison was submerged 6 feet deep in floodwaters and 3,700 inmates must be evacuated immediately.

Flood experts in the country believe the flooding will continue until the first week of November. They fear that the capital city of Bangkok will not stand against the twin forces of floodwaters and high tide unless prevention measures will be implemented as soon as possible.

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