28 Oct 2011

Exodus from Bangkok

9:44 am on 28 October 2011

Residents of Bangkok are leaving the city before more flooding arrives at the weekend.

The BBC reports some districts of the Thai capital are already 90% submerged by rising water.

Bus and train stations and many roads are jammed by crowds of people attempting to flee.

Some had to wait for hours to board a bus to leave the city from Mo Chit bus terminal.

Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra has issued an evacuation alert for residents of Don Muang, Bang Phlad and Thawi Wattana districts in the north of the capital.

A five-day holiday from Thursday to Monday is in effect in Bangkok and in 20 provinces to allow people to relocate.

The ABC reports government offices and schools are closed.

Banks and financial markets will operate normally during the holiday from Thursday to Monday. Flooding has forced 373 branches to close, including 86 in Bangkok.

The flooding is due to unusually heavy monsoon rains since July. About one third of all provinces are affected.