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Death toll from Thailand floods rises past 500

 A statue of a Thai traffic police stands along floodwaters as a passenger bus passes by in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record...
 Thai residents wade along flooded streets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record high floods continue to creep closer to the h...
 Thai residents carry children across flooded streets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record high floods continue to creep clos...
 Thai residents smile as they ride their bicycles along flooded streets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record high floods cont...
 A Thai boy swims near a mall along flooded streets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record high floods continue to creep closer...
 A young Thai girl, left drenched with floodwaters, takes a break before resuming wading through a flooded neighborhood in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, ...
 A Thai Buddhist monk navigates an improvised float at their flooded temple in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. The polluted black water conti...
 Thai residents are transported on a truck through a flooded street in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
 Thais wade through flooded streets as the sun sets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. The polluted black water continued its march into Bang...
 Thai residents use a small boat to bring groceries back to their home at a flooded area in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. The polluted blac...
 A Thai man uses an improvised float to carry items along a flooded street in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. The polluted black water contin...

Thailand Floods

A statue of a Thai traffic police stands along floodwaters as a passenger bus passes by in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record...

Thailand Floods

Thai residents wade along flooded streets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record high floods continue to creep closer to the h...

Thailand Floods

Thai residents carry children across flooded streets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record high floods continue to creep clos...

Thailand Floods

Thai residents smile as they ride their bicycles along flooded streets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record high floods cont...

Thailand Floods

A Thai boy swims near a mall along flooded streets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Thailand's record high floods continue to creep closer...

Thailand Floods

A young Thai girl, left drenched with floodwaters, takes a break before resuming wading through a flooded neighborhood in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, ...

Thailand Floods

A Thai Buddhist monk navigates an improvised float at their flooded temple in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. The polluted black water conti...

Thailand Floods

Thai residents are transported on a truck through a flooded street in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

APTOPIX Thailand Floods

Thais wade through flooded streets as the sun sets in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. The polluted black water continued its march into Bang...

Thailand Floods

Thai residents use a small boat to bring groceries back to their home at a flooded area in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. The polluted blac...

Thailand Floods

A Thai man uses an improvised float to carry items along a flooded street in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. The polluted black water contin...

The nationwide death toll from Thailand's worst floods in half a century climbed past 500 Sunday, as the polluted black water continued its march into Bangkok and authorities ordered a spate of new evacuations in the sprawling capital.
Floodwaters also poured over a road running underneath the city's Mo Chit Skytrain station, the northernmost stop on Bangkok's elevated subway system. The road was still passable, and train service has not yet been affected, but the inundation illustrates how far flooding has progressed into the city and how powerless the government is to stop it.
Mo Chit is located just a few miles (kilometers) north of the city's central business district, which has remained dry so far. Flooding has also reached roads at three subway stops in northern Bangkok, but all remained open Sunday.
Relentless rainfall has pummeled vast swaths of Thailand since late July, swamping the country and killing 506 people, according to the latest government statistics. Most of those killed have drowned, while a handful of people have died from flood-related electrocutions.
No deaths have been reported in Bangkok. The nearby province of Ayutthaya, which has been submerged for more than one month, has the highest toll with 90 reported dead.
Floodwaters have begun receding in some provinces north of the capital, and a major cleanup is planned in Ayutthaya this week. But the runoff has massed around Bangkok and completely submerged some of the city's outer neighborhoods.
On Sunday, Bangkok Gov. Sukhumbhand Paribatra ordered another wave of evacuations in several neighborhoods in the west and east. In all, evacuations have been ordered in nine of the capital's 50 districts _ up from eight a day earlier. Seven other districts are partially inundated and residents in parts of those have also been told to leave.
Also Sunday, floodwaters began approaching a main road near the city's Mo Chit bus terminal, a major gateway to northern Thailand. The bus station remained open, though, traffic police chief Uthaiwan Kaewsa-ard said.
Mo Chit is close to the famed Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok's largest outdoor shopping zone. The market, a major tourist attraction, was officially open Sunday. But with water pouring past its eastern edge for the second day, most vendors and customers stayed away.
In the last few days, floods have also begun moving southward in adjacent Lad Phrao, a district studded with office towers, condominiums and a popular shopping mall.
On Friday, workers completed a 3.7-mile (6-kilometer) flood wall made from massive, hastily assembled sandbags in an effort to divert some of the water flowing toward central Bangkok. But large amounts of water are already beyond that wall, and officials say that besides a network of canals and underground drainage tunnels, there are no more barriers preventing water from pushing south into the heart of the city.
Over the past two decades, Bangkok's much enlarged and improved drainage system has increasingly been able to siphon off water during monsoon seasons with average rainfall. But amid Thailand's worst flooding since World War II, that system is being put to its greatest test yet.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told a radio audience that a plan to be put before the Cabinet on Tuesday would allocate 100 billion baht ($3.3 billion) for post-flood reconstruction.
Yingluck's government has come under fire for failing to predict the threat to the capital. Residents also have been frustrated by widely different assessments of the flooding situation from the prime minister, Bangkok's governor and the country's top water experts and officials.
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Associated Press writer Vee Intarakratug contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-03-04 23:53 GMT+08:00