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Dam near Bangkok destroyed in anger

Torn-down dike spares one neighborhood, floods another
Bangkok floods sandbags 2011 10 31Enlarge
Volunteers fortify dams, made of sandbags and pipes, at Klong Luang on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand. The flood gate is one of the most critical of the last fortifications before waters flow into the inner core of Bangkok. (Daniel Berehulak/AFP/Getty Images)

At this point, it's abundantly clear that parts of Bangkok's outskirts are being sacrificed to spare the capital.

Bangkok's city center is still protected by a network of sandbag walls and dikes that stop floodwaters from gushing into the city center.

On the other side, however, are families suffering in homes steeped in brown water and lanes turned to trash-choked canals.

In a few isolated cases, residents are joining forces to tear down dikes -- draining the water from their districts and flooding areas closer to the city.

Several such incidents have been reported by the Bangkok Post. China's Xinhua agency has gone so far as to publish this headline: "Bangkok near chaos with flood mobs and drinking water shortage."

Having visited some of the worst-hit areas, I'd say "chaos" is overkill.

But the government is well aware that, in saving the capital, they're draining the outside provinces' patience.

Thailand's prime minister has personally thanked neighborhoods for their sacrifice while cautioning that, if Bangkok goes under, then "foreigners will lose confidence in us and wonder why we cannot save our own capital.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/dam-near-bangkok-destroyed-anger