17 Oct 2011

Bangkok avoids major flooding

9:50 am on 17 October 2011

Reports from Thailand say flood defences are holding so far around the capital Bangkok, protecting it from the inundation that has devastated the country's central and northern provinces.

Embankments have been raised around vulnerable parts of the city and sandbags have been piled alongside waterways.

About 1000 boats have been moored in rivers with their engines running, to speed the flow of water with their propellers.

Agriculture Minister Theera Wongsamut says there are good signs that water levels on the city's key Chao Phraya river will rise no higher, the BBC reports.

However, he stopped short of saying the capital is over the worst.

Mr Wongsamut says a large amount of water from the north flowed past Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand yesterday.

Flooding throughout Thailand has killed about 300 people since July.