Bangkok Flood Latest: Flooding Hits City’s Poor, Businesses Remain Dry

Floodwaters are rising disproportionately higher in poorer neighborhoods around Bangkok, sparking outrage and clashes between residents along the class divide.

Outlying areas sit under more than five feet of water, but the center city remains dry. It is protected by a series of dikes and sandbag walls, according to reports.

The makeshift floodwalls are protecting the commercial heart of the capital city.

The tales of two Bangkok’s – one wealthy and dry, one poor and flooded – have led residents on the wrong side of the flood gates to attempt to break down barriers in an effort to lower the flood levels in their neighborhoods and spread the water into other areas less affected.

Thousands of people in the flooded north recently damaged a floodwall protecting the industrial areas of Bangkok, according to reports. It was the latest attempt by residents to push floodwaters out of their neighborhoods.

The Thai government is intent on protecting the last remaining dry areas of Bangkok, despite the outcry from residents in the poor outskirts.

“The gate needs to be urgently fixed otherwise the floodwater would cause heavy flooding,” said Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra on his website Tuesday.

The governor was referring to new flooding in eastern Bangkok where many international manufacturers, such as Honda, Unilever and Cadbury, are located.

“There are a number of people who are trying to obstruct the fixing of the floodgate,” Paribatra said.

The flooding has caused more than 400 deaths and displaced thousands in the country since waters began rising in July, according to reports. Flooding is reported in 63 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.

The divide between the protected industrial areas and the flooded residential areas has created a humanitarian crisis.

"We cannot say how bad the situation is going to be, but it doesn't look rosy when it comes to humanitarian assistance," said Pavinee Youprasert, of the Thai Red Cross Society, to The Associated Press. "From what we've got from the field, in every area that has been flooded, there is a dire need for access to basic supplies."

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