People are fleeing from Bangkok, following fears that the entire city could be flooded by the worst deluge Thailand has seen in 50 years. In less than a week, the death toll has topped 360, with hundreds of thousands forced to leave their homes.
The entire capital with its population of some nine million people could flood in coming days, the authorities warned on Thursday. More than a thousand displaced people taking refuge at Bangkok's second airport had to move out as water inched closer to the terminal.
Residents poured out of the Thai capital by bus, plane and train, after the government announced a special five-day holiday to evacuate parts of the flood-threatened metropolis before a weekend deluge rushes through the city.
Fifty thousand troops with special equipment were involved in the evacuation, after waist-high water turned roads into rivers and swamped homes. Panic has gripped parts of the city, with many supermarket shelves already empty, and stores posting notices that flooding is disrupting supply chains and leaving them unable to restock certain items.
Locals in affected areas who didn’t manage to catch a military truck got out in any way they could: using paddle boats, plastic tubs, inner tubes and rubber rafts. The floods have caused billions of dollars in damage.