27 Oct 2011

Thousands flee Bangkok as floodwaters rise

8:00 pm on 27 October 2011

Thousands of people are leaving Thailand's capital, Bangkok, following a government warning that large parts of the city could soon be inundated by floodwaters.

The city's bus and train stations and many roads are jammed by people taking advantage of a special five-day holiday declared by the authorities to try to deal with the floods.

People in several northern districts of the Bangkok - some of which are now 90% submerged by rising waters - have been told they should evacuate immediately.

The natural disaster has already left more than 370 people dead throughout the country and forced more than 100,000 to flee their homes.

The BBC's correspondent in Bangkok says many major roads leading north - towards the areas worst affected by the flooding - are largely impassable.

Those leading south and east are reported to be clogged with traffic, made worse by the number of cars that have been parked on elevated sections of highways to save them from the approaching waters.

Those who have decided to stay in the capital have been stocking up on essential provisions. Supplies of bottled water and dried noodles are running very low.

Satellite images now show Bangkok surrounded by a sea of water that is creeping deeper into the city every day.