The death toll from the devastating Bangkok floods is now at 506. Drowning is considered to be the prominent cause of death as floodwaters continue to rise.
Last week, Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters that the peak tides had passed through the region and that Bangkok will avoid the worst of the floods. However, it appears that Bangkok is getting hit hard with 12 of its 50 districts having already faced ordered evacuations and flood water inching closer and closer into Bangkok’s southern district.
Some areas in the north of the city have seen receded waters, but other areas remain under threat and authorities are working diligently to keep the commercial heart of Bangkok dry.
On Sunday the governor of Bangkok expressed concerns as 14 flood gates in Western Bangkok were not functioning properly.
One Bangkok resident told CNN, “I don’t know what the government is doing. They promised that water would be diverted to the east and west… Why is water coming closer and closer to (the) central part? I don’t see any improvement.”
The flooding in Thailand began in July and is the worst flooding the East Asian nation has witnessed in over half a century.
With such heavy flooding concerns are abounding about the effect the flooding will have on sanitation, access to clean water, and the overall health of people in the country.
The most common diseases that emerge following heavy flooding include diarrhea, dengue fever, and malaria and could potentially create a higher level of devastation in the country even after the floodwaters subsided.
Thailand’s record breaking flooding came as a result of two typhoons and unusually heavy monsoon rains that persisted for three months.
Over three million people across the country have been affected by the flooding and four million acres of farmland have been damaged according to a recently released Thailand Disaster and Mitigation Department report.
The government has said that the floods currently affect 25 of the country’s 77 provinces.