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Thailand's worst flood kills 373, Bangkok residents brace for high tide


16:23, October 26, 2011

Sand sacks are seen outside houses to prevent floodwater in Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 26, 2011. Water has crept into more neighborhoods in the Thai capital Bangkok, while the Chao Phraya River and many drainage canals stood at full capacity on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

BANGKOK, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Death toll of widespread floods in Thailand has climbed to 373 with two missing, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said on Wednesday.

The deluge still prevails in 26 provinces in central and northeastern parts of the country, affecting at least 2.4 million people.

Widespread and longstanding floods which were inflicted by heavy monsoon rains and tropical storms have since late July lashed 62 provinces in almost every part of the country except the South, affecting some 9.4 million people.

It becomes clear that Bangkok, the country's capital, will not be able to escape the worst floods in 50 years when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra warned Bangkok residents on Tuesday night to brace for flooding.

The premier admitted that permanent floodwalls and temporary embankments might not be able to withstand the massive inundation. It is likely that even central and inner zones of the city will be affected, she added.

"Those areas along Chao Praya River and floodwalls along the banks will be at the highest risk," said Yingluck in a televised speech.

Bangkok residents living along Choa Praya River have been warned that the October 27-31 high tide would raise the river level to as high as 2.6 meters above mean sea level, which is higher than the city's concrete floodwall of 2.5 meters. It is, therefore, expected to see water overflowing banks along the Chao Praya River.

Actually, parts of Bangkok including Don Mueang, Sai Mai and Lak Si districts in the north and Bang Phlad district near the central have been flooded already.

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