Bangkok wakes to find streets underwater after biggest storm of year

Bangkok, Jul 21 (EFE).- Bangkok residents woke up Thursday to find many of the capital’s streets under water after a strong overnight storm produced the largest rainfall recorded this year and caused chaos across the metropolis.

Heavy rain and thunder storms lasted most of the night and continued into Thursday morning rush hour, although with less intensity. Some streets remained impassable, causing traffic jams and general chaos city-wide.

It was the heaviest rainfall of the year in Bangkok within a 24-hour period, reaching 132.5 millimeters across the city, according to the meteorological department, with one weather station recording 163.5 mm.

The storms produced flash floods in at least 26 of the 50 districts of the capital, which has about 10 million people.

Photos circulating on social media networks showed vehicles driving half-submerged through flooded roads, as well as huge volumes of water entering shops, homes and even buses.

In other videos, people were seen walking along the streets and sidewalks knee-deep in water, while objects and even motorcycles floated in some of the most affected areas of the city.

Some businesses sent messages to their customers saying they were closed for cleanup as the water had breached gutters and flooded shops.

The public canal ferry services were also interrupted amid the downpour and the rise in water levels.

The Thai authorities asked citizens to be cautious and issued warnings Thursday for “heavy to very heavy rain” until Sunday across the country, which is in the middle of its monsoon period.

“People should beware of severe condition that may cause flash flood and over flows,” the meteorological department said in a statement.

Low-lying Bangkok is sinking a few centimeters a year and it is predicted that at least parts of the capital could be underwater by 2030 due to factors such as climate change and land subsidence. EFE


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