For weeks, Caritas has been helping families impacted by floods in Thailand. Now the floodwaters have arrived in the country’s capital. Father Bonnie Mendes, Regional Coordinator for Caritas Asia, is in Bangkok and reports on the situation:
This Friday morning there are megafloods here in Bangkok. Some parts of the city are fully inundated. Worse is still to come, they say.
Many people have evacuated the city—there has been a mass exodus. There is very little road traffic because people have left the city.
No ready-made food is available. Each and every store is empty. There is no bread, noodles, yogurt, biscuits, etc. Worse still, bottled drinking water is not available. The neighbouring countries are sending drinking water and packaged food.
The water will come at great speed, we are told, tonight and for the next few days. It will be even up to six feet high. People have moved to their third floor where they can.
Australia sent millions of sand bags to protect places. There are substances to seal cracks in outer walls; the silicon guns that shoot that chemical substance are sold out.
Walls have been built in front of churches, temples, shopping malls, and houses—outside the walls there are sandbags. Young people have built boats from empty plastic bottles. They work well, but when the gushing waters come nothing like that will stand. One has to wait for the water to go to the sea.
Despite the flood, the electricity has not gone off, but now they say it will.
The people of Thailand have shown great patience and unity during this crisis. It is fantastic to see how all are working together. Thank you for your prayers, messages of solidarity and concern.