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Thailand declares special holiday in 21 flood-hit provinces

(Xinhua)

16:26, October 25, 2011

BANGKOK, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The cabinet on Tuesday decided to declare Oct. 27-28 and Oct. 31 an official holiday in 21 flood-hit provinces, including Bangkok, so that people in flood-prone areas would be able to brace for the expected deluge.

Those 21 provinces are central SukhoThai, Pichit, Pitsanulok, Nakornsawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Singburi, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Lopburi, Saraburi, Nakornnayok, Prachin Buri, Chasoengsao, Subhan Buri, ankorn Pathom, Khampaengpet, Tak and Bangkok provinces.

It is anticipated that the capital Bangkok city will face high sea tides during Oct. 26-31, making it more difficult for the floodwater to flow out to sea and so several riverside and flood- prone communities will be inundated.

The five-day holiday is aimed at allowing Bangkok residents to respond to the flood emergency during the high tide period.

Some 4,000 million cubic meters of floodwater from the upper north expected to reach Bangkok on Wednesday coincides with the high sea tides during Oct. 26-31, making it more difficult for the government to protect the capital from incoming flood.

Home to about 10 million people, the city is situated in the Chao Phraya delta just two meters above the sea level. This makes protection against floods difficult despite the government's efforts to divert floodwaters to the city's western and eastern sides.

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