Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra appealed for unity among opposing political factions Wednesday to protect its residents from the surging floods ravaging the region.
“We’ve been doing everything we can, but this is a big national crisis. On our own, we can’t get it done,” Yingluck said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We need unity from every side and we must set politics aside.
Many businesses and resident have blamed a lack of coordination between Ms. Yingluck's national government and a Bangkok city administration led by her Democrat Party rivals for contributing to the crisis. An opinion poll released Tuesday found that 87% of people surveyed distrusted information released by the government's flood war room based at Bangkok's old international airport.
Hundreds of soldiers and volunteers have lined up in Bangkok to pile sandbags into dikes around the city to combat the surging floods, according to Voice of America. A Thai government official had warned that dikes surrounding industrial suburbs in northern Bangkok could have "complications" if not reinforced.
More than 300 people in Thailand have died and tens of thousands have been forced by the floods from their homes, The New York Times reported. Economically important suburbs have been devastated in the north of Bangkok, with many export businesses being wiped out.
United Nations officials estimate that at least 745 peole have been killed elsewhere in the Southeast Asia region, including in Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Cambodia has the second-largest loss of life resulting from the flood crisis, with at least 247 people killed.