Thai PM Says Floods May Last at Least a Month

Posted October 22nd, 2011 at 3:05 am (UTC-5)
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Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says the kingdom must endure at least one more month of flooding before waters recede.

In her televised weekly address Saturday, the Thai leader said floodwaters could reach one meter high in Bangkok. She urged residents of the capital city Friday to move their possessions to higher ground.

The worst flooding in 50 years in Thailand has killed 356 people and displaced more than 110,000 others.

Water rose to knee-level in some places after flooding over canals in Bangkok's northern Lak-Si district.

Many Bangkok residents are rushing to stock up on food and drinking water, while those in the flooded north have already fled their homes.

The Thai prime minister has also invoked the natural disaster law that gives her authority to implement a nationwide disaster relief plan and punish the officials who fail to follow instructions.

The flooding has already hurt Thailand's industry and agriculture sectors in one-third of the country.

Heavy rains since July have inundated large parts of Southeast Asia, forcing millions from their homes. Another 336 people have died in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Thousands of people in Southeast Asia have been displaced.