Bangkok flooding: Reasons for evacuation

It’s strangely calm here away from the craziness and hydrophobia that plagues Bangkok. All I can hear are the sounds of the waves splashing upon the shore outside my window.

I’m glad we decided to bring everyone out. Some may wonder why leave now? Why not wait for the house to be actually flooded? Are you overreacting?

Here are my reasons why and ones I think we should all consider. It’s especially important to get elders out though they are often the hardest to convince.

1. If you wait until it floods you may be unable to get out because the water level rose higher and faster than expected. You end up trapped.
2. You will have to wait for others to help you evacuate and since there are people needing help than authorities can help out, you might be stuck in a flooded home for days on end.
3. Without electricity you cannot charge your phone. Once your phone is dead, it will be difficult to contact the outside world for help. You are isolated from the outside world.
4. Wading through water, you might get electrocuted or trip over something and drown in the meter high water. No one will see you.
5. You might cause other people to die trying to help you. Wading through water to help you get out, these good people might themselves get electrocuted or drown.
6. Water that has been stagnant for long will start to stink bringing with it disease. You might fall ill with no one to help you.
7. You run out of supplies but don’t want to leave because you worry about your belongings. You have others risk their lives to bring you food.
8. If you leave when it’s flooded, everyone else is leaving too. Traffic jams and accidents are more likely to happen. People in panic driving mode are not safe drivers.
9. You can only bring with you bare necessities. Leaving first allows you to pack more and bring more of your things out.
10. Why live life without electricity and water confined to an island home when you can be outside walking and with friends and loved ones?

These were the reasons we thought about when we decided to evacuate. What do you think? Do you have any more reasons?

Have you evacuated? If not, please seriously consider it for everyone’s safety and peace of mind.

Stay safe everyone!

Bangkok Flooding: One by one, we all fall down

An eerie silence has befallen Bangkok once again.  It’s as if the whole city is holding it’s breath.  Breathe too loudly and you just might trip over.  Last time this happened was last year during the political unrest.  Only this time,  the eerie silence is spread much further out.  Not only inner Bangkok but now the suburbs too are subject to this eerie silence.

Cars are not wanted now.  They are all parked on bridges, expressways, parking lots and anywhere that is above ground level.  It’s too expensive to just let them drown in water.  With car taxes over two hundred percent, most cannot afford to lose the only car they have.  I cannot.  I’m still paying the monthly installments.  Even the taxi companies are saving their cars and few now roam the streets.  It’s difficult to go anywhere.  Walking becomes the mode of transport.

While walking, I sometimes wonder if I am living in a deserted town like those abandoned frontier towns you see in movies.  The wind blows and the only sounds you hear are the leaves rustling and the sound of the dangling chimes at my neighbour’s balcony.  Birds fly past and a small three-wheeled vehicle rattles past.  That’s all.  Many of my neighbours have left town for who knows how long.

The government suggested Bangkokians temporarily leave town for the weekend.  This is the crisis we are in.  A city of ten million inhabitants told they should leave town for the weekend if they can.  It’s crazy.  This shouldn’t be happening, yet it is.  I am not dreaming.

Highways are jammed pack and bus terminals full.  No one wants to be in Bangkok.

Our main airport is protected by a 3.5meter wall made of soil.  It is 23.5 km long.  It sounds strangely similar to the ones that protected the other industrial manufacturing parks that have since succumbed to the Water.  I just pray that the same fate does not befall our only remaining international airport.  That would be a national disaster. A tragedy.

Everyone is blaming each other instead of working together.  How will it ever end if leaders do not know how to lead and people don’t know how to work together as a team.  Everyone pushes aside responsibility to save themselves.  I wonder if they really think about what’s good for the country.  Be proactive rather than reactive.  Please. I beg of you.

Tonight is my last post from the comfort of my room for who knows how long.  Tomorrow, I am taking my family out of town, as recommended, until the situation improves.  I cannot risk having elders stuck in the house in a hard to reach area.  I have no personal boat nor truck.  I pray this trip will not be longer than a few days, but Bangkok City says they are having trouble draining water and there is a possibility the city will be without electricity and tap water.

Hospitals are moving patients to other provinces.  This is no small operation. Hospitals have moved to Plan B. I worry for my grandma.  Yes, the flooding is more severe than initially expected.

More than I initially expected too.  At first I believed that in no way would inner Bangkok be flooded.  I had full faith.  Now all that faith is gone.  Now the experts say we are living the worst case scenario.  My area is projected to flood up to a meter high.  This is the main road projection.  The road in front of my house is lower and in a hard to reach area.  It floods ankle deep on a normal stormy night.

Each day on the evening news, a few more districts are told to immediately evacuate. District by district.  Step by step.   One by one, we all fall down like a row of dominoes.

Stay safe my dear friends and fellow Bangkokians.  The worst will be over soon. Pray hard.