‘City of water and rain’: Just weeks after record heatwave, Bangkok is flooding again
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‘City of water and rain’: Just weeks after record heatwave, Bangkok is flooding again

BANGKOK was hit by severe flooding again Tuesday, just weeks after one of the worst droughts to hit Thailand in recent decades.

Heavy rains in the early morning brought traffic to a standstill in parts of the capital, forcing some schools and businesses to close.

The worst flooding occurred in the city’s low-lying Lat Phrao area.

The heavy downpours are a worrying sign for Bangkok just weeks into the months-long ‘rainy season’, with forecasts of more rain and thunder storms in the week ahead.

“We apologize to the people affected by floods. But this problem will occur again [in the future] because Bangkok is a city of water and rain,” a candid Bangkok governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said, according to the Bangkok Post.

Both English language dailies led with news of the flooding Wednesday, with Sukhambhand also reportedly describing the rain as the “heaviest in 25 years”.

The end of the ‘El Nino’ cycle is also expected to bring heavier-than-usual rains across the region in the coming months.

The deluge comes as a dramatic turnaround for Thailand, which was just weeks ago experiencing its longest heatwave in 65 years. Average national temperatures were regularly rising well above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in late April as concerns mounted over dwindling water supplies.

SEE ALSO: That sinking feeling: Is time running out for Bangkok?

Recent heavy rains throughout the country have raised fears of a repeat of the flooding that devastated large parts of Thailand in 2011, causing an estimated US$46 billion in damage, according to the World Bank.

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A Thai driver smiles as he navigates his modified TukTuk, a local three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, to make it through floods in Bangkok, Thailand in 2011. Pic: AP

As one of Asia’s lowest-lying capitals, Bangkok regularly suffers severe flooding – a situation that is likely to get worse as sea levels continue to rise.

One study has found that large parts of the city could be under water within 15 years if no action is taken. Other estimates found that parts of the city are literally sinking by as much as 10 centimeters per year.