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.