I’ve been back for a few days now from my evacuation. I missed home too much and needed to get some things done at work. Now that I’m back, I once again feel the psychological stress and intensity with which this flooding is affecting Bangkok citizens. It’s like a race against time. A race against the
impending flood. A race against water that seeps in through every crack and nook.
Humans race to be the winner in this losing battle. Everyone is applying new ways of protection against the flood. The shops on my road and businesses were busy reinforcing their protection. As time goes by, the form of flood protection changes and evolves with experience. Everyone is building a bunker or living in one (like I am).
I’ve been observing the flood protection over the past month and it seems to evolve over time. Here
is a list of how bunkers have evolved over the past month in Bangkok.
First, sandbags. Lined any old way, we thought they would help. Then proper ways were taught as to how they should be aligned. In the beginning maybe only a row or two, then weeks later, walls sometimes grew higher. A bank just by my house increased it’s wall protection from half a meter to two meters. Imagine a two meter high wall of sandbags. Tomorrow I will take a picture as I walk past.
Second, wide plastic sheets to cover the sandbags that might deteriorate with long exposure to water. Silicone was used to seal doors and cracks. Wall cracks, plugs, everything was sealed with silicone. I had fun with the gun.
Sandbags lost some appeal as if they are improperly aligned they might leak. Also they are heavy, so if you line it up too long against glass or a wall coupled with the pressure from the water, the wall might just collapse on you. Such has been the cause of many injuries. They are also extremely heavy, so if you are a house without much manpower, it is a tough job.
Third, brick cement walls came as the scarcity of sandbags caused everyone to seek alternative forms of protection. A neighbour at first built a small wall roughly 3 blocks high and has since been adding a block per week the past two weeks.
Fourth, wall boards (not sure what you call those walls made of compressed wood that in construction is sometimes used between rooms) then sealed to fronts. No cement walls, but instead these synthetic walls were carefully placed and sealed to doors and walls. Sometimes they were given a large plastic cover to give added protection.
Fifth, metal walls. Yes, I passed a business building today which had protected itself with
large metal sheets. I think it was aluminium, but I am not sure. Lined up beautifully and sealed against the entire base of the business, I think it will work well.
Are there other types of bunkers? If you know of any or have pictures, please share.
In the meanwhile, stay dry! This may or may not be one of the last few posts from my home before I
have to evacuate for who knows how long.