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Bangkok disaster warning as drainage begins

Pressure on floodgates to the north of Bangkok have forced the government to allow flood waters to drain through the city.

Bangkok floods 10 20 2011Enlarge
A local resident swims with a mobile phone attached to his head in floodwaters after a mud and sandbag wall collapsed in Bang Bua Thong in Nonthaburi province, suburban Bangkok, on October 19, 2011. Thailand's premier urged the kingdom's rival political factions on October 19 to work together to tackle the worst floods in decades. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)

Thailand's Prime Minister on Friday issued a disaster warning for Bangkok, with 12 million residents told to prepare for a deluge of water that is being diverted from the north, through the city's canals, and into the sea.

Al Jazeera said Yingluck Shinawatra has given no assurances that Bangkok would be saved floodwaters that are “overwhelming sandbag walls” on the outskirts of the city.

The government has urged residents to move their possessions to higher floors, or higher areas of the city.

Read more on GlobalPost: Flooding the suburbs to save Bangkok

Yingluck Shinawatra said:

I ask all Bangkok residents to move your belongings to higher ground as a precaution, but they should not panic. It's preparation. We will rapidly assess the situation and regularly inform the public.

According to the BBC, Thailand is facing its worst floods in decades, with more than 340 people killed during three months of heavy monsoon rain, and a third of the country's provinces affected.

Bangkok is being threatened by the run-off of water from northern and central areas that are now draining south to the sea.

Several floodgates were opened on Thursday due to a build-up of water to the north of Bangkok, which has been protected by floodgates, and sandbags used to reinforce barriers.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/thailand/111021/bangkok-floods-disaster-thailand