Thai Anger Grows as Floods Hit Some, Spare Others

Posted November 1st, 2011 at 4:00 am (UTC-5)
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Anger and frustration are rising in Bangkok's northern and western suburbs, where successful efforts to save the city center from swirling floodwaters have led to even more misery.

In some cases, vigilante groups have broken holes in the makeshift barriers protecting central Bangkok to let the waist-deep floodwaters escape more quickly from their own communities.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered one floodgate opened an extra meter to allow more water to drain to the sea. But city government officials warned the action could put some downtown areas at risk.

Officials said the waters should begin to recede after an unusually high tide passed Monday without forcing the Chao Phraya River to overflow the barriers along its banks.

But in Bangkok's northern Laksi area, residents like Parait Pin-ngern said Tuesday the water level is still rising.

He said he was lucky to escape from his house before it was too late.

The argument over which neighborhoods to protect and which to let flood is aggravated by Thailand's recent history of political strife.

The prime minister and the governor of Bangkok are from opposing political parties with very different constituencies.