Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011 Bangkok Flood - So Dumb

For some reasons or other, water seems to have a mind of her own going and not going where as had been predicted. This again, I believe due to the heavy intervention by man to control the water flow, only to result in more chaos, panic and nuisance. Shopping malls some so unlikely to be flooded, at Robinson Ratchada especially, had closed their parking lots because the frantic neighborhood had moved all their cars into the multi storey parking lots. The departmental store Tops in the basement, had reduced their inventory clearing out the bottom two level of shelves in anticipation of the speculated flooding. Consumers like me, driven into frustration.

For some reasons or other, the Big Bag project carried out to prevent Bangkok from flooding had backfired. It caused people north of the barrier to be soaked indefinitely. They watch news of inner Bangkok's water subsiding while stinky waters in their village crept higher. The authorities should had seen it coming, very short sighted all their short term plans. There have been several mobs activities reported and they had succeeded in breaking the silly idea of the bag at several spots. Water level in their villages finally subsiding and all these little efforts seemed to be working way better then what the government had planned. The most surprising twist is that, although the northern water is coming into town, the levels inner Bangkok have not been rising.

For some reasons or others, Samut Prakan, the last district to be hit by the flood remains dry till this day. I visited my customers there and they voiced "we have sucked our canals dry, preparing to receive the flood waters but we seemed to have waited forever". Some expert from Netherland had been engaged as a consultant to handle the flood in Bangkok. He was seen on TV doing inspections, he commented many. One of which was that the pumping stations were all under performing, if only there were more water for them to suck. The water remains at the northern Bangkok region and never reached these efficient machines. Then for some reasons or other, he was never seen on TV again. Therefore, I blog writer, solemnly decide to christen the Big Bag Project - The Big Joke.

We heard of the misuse of funds here and there, people have reduced donations to the organizations set up by the government. Donations to public TV channels poured in with increasing numbers and the resulting flood relief efforts seen more than what the government had done. Complains big time, the voices wrong side of The Big Joke barrier. Reported on newspapers, it seemed the authorities are waking up and realizing they should not be "keeping the patient ill". They must focus on not containing the water but to find a solution to drain the water away. My point of view, Bangkok do have a large network of canals for the purpose of drainage, but so many of them still remained dry. Cleary, something is not done correctly somewhere somehow.

Vibhavadi Rangsit Toll Way had turned into a new tourist attraction. Many people are touring the new Vibhavadi Rangsit River. We park all along the highway taking the pictures of our lifetime, including me of course. This toll way runs alongside Don Muang Airport, we could see the situation from high and dry, witness planes soaked in water and cars strewn around like plastic toys. This toll way have also turned into a massive elevated peeing ground. I took pictures, I also took in full breathes of dried urine everywhere I parked. Traffic police had removed the dividers along many locations of this toll way. A real convenience for people to make u-turns back into Bangkok without having to exit down into the flood below.

The peak of the flood we believe is over for Bangkok. This confidence could be felt by the increasing amount of traffic on roads. Driving is no longer a breeze like when the flood just started. However, the surroundings, poor souls the people are. Some areas have been speculated to flood till the new year. My mates some, had not gone back home for more than a month and longer still they will wait.

Water level had indeed be receding but at a very slow rate. Photographers by the hordes could be seen scouting the flooded plains on weekends before the water is finally gone from inner Bangkok. Inundated industrial estates in the north are now confident that they will start recovery efforts mid of December 2011. Leg and bikini line waxing saloons in Union Mall remaining closed resulted in an increasing number of Thai girls turning into gorillas. However, this week, some major malls have been reported re-opening their doors and some had set forth planned re-opening schedules.

The water is no longer crawling further into the heart of Bangkok. She is expected to take on the surrounding Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon, flow into the sea alongside and slowly drain away. Samut Sakon had been hit first but the flooding is gentle. Samut Prakan as mentioned remains dry. Strangely the water, she stopped her advances. Rama II she did not cross and the International airport she did not hit. She is so close to the sea and yet she will not jump. Will she rather drain herself slowly via the machineries and into the central canals, the main rivers? The pumps working mad, the efforts of man she ain't so glad.

Full photo sets here under The Flood 2011.

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