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Floods threaten Bangkok as north starts rebuild

 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

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...

As floodwaters drained from Thailand's flood-ravaged central heartland through Bangkok on Monday, residents in long-submerged provinces to the north of the capital were starting to rebuild their lives.
The water slowly advancing through Bangkok's northern and western neighborhoods was threatening the city's subway system, two key industrial estates and the emergency headquarters set up to deal with flooding that has claimed more than 500 lives nationwide.
Evacuations have been ordered in 11 of Bangkok's 50 districts, and partial evacuations apply in seven more. The evacuations are not mandatory, and most people are staying to protect homes and businesses. But the orders illustrate how far flooding has progressed into the city and how powerless the government has been to stop it.
The flooding began in late July and some provinces to the north of Bangkok have been flooded for more than a month. The waters have started to recede in recent days, revealing the massive cleanup effort that lies ahead.
For two months, Anan Dirath was forced to live in the second floor of his home in Nakorn Sawan province. But now that the water has receded to knee level, it's time to clean up.
He has armed his two teenage children with mops, scrub brushes and garbage bags. Wading in the water, his family has begun scrubbing dirt off the walls and collecting the garbage around the house. He said the dirt was difficult to wash off and he has had to scrub the paint off to get rid of it.
"Oh my pretty home. It used to be a pretty two-story home," he said Monday.
In nearby Nakorn Sawan town center, where the water has dried completely, the government sponsored a clean-up day last week where roads were scrubbed down to get rid of the oily mud left from the floods and back hoes were used to carry garbage away.
The clean-up has also begun in some parts of Thailand's ancient capital of Ayutthaya. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was scheduled to visit the province Tuesday to witness the recovery efforts.
Yingluck says a plan to be put before the Cabinet on Tuesday would allocate 100 billion baht ($3.3 billion) for post-flood reconstruction.
Her government has come under fire for failing to predict the threat to Bangkok. 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.
The floodwaters in the city continued to move south Monday toward the central business district. The latest district added to the evacuation list was Chatuchak, home to a large public park and an outdoor market that is a major tourist attraction.
Just a few miles (kilometers) north of Bangkok's still-unaffected central business zone, Chatuchak also is home to the government's national emergency flood relief headquarters. It is housed in the Energy Ministry _ a building now surrounded by water.
The relief headquarters moved last week out of Bangkok's Don Muang airport after it, too, was flooded.
Floodwaters have reached Chatuchak's Mo Chit Skytrain station, the northernmost stop on the capital's elevated train system, as well as three subway stops in the same area. Both mass transit networks are functioning normally, though some exits have been barricaded and closed.
Also in Chatuchak, water has begun approaching a main road near the Mo Chit bus terminal, a major gateway to northern Thailand.
___
Associated Press writers Vee Intarakratug, Todd Pitman and Chris Blake contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-05-17 03:42 GMT+08:00