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Thailand Floods 2011: Flood Barriers Will Determine Bangkok's Fate

Thailand Floods 2011 Bangkok

TODD PITMAN and THANYARAT DOKSONE   10/16/11 12:21 AM ET   AP

RANGSIT, Thailand — Flood barriers protecting the Thai capital from the country's worst floodwaters in decades have been holding up so far.

Communities neighboring Bangkok have been swamped, and nationwide 297 people have been killed.

But the elaborate system flood walls, canals, dikes and underground tunnels protecting Bangkok kept flooding at bay for most of the capital Sunday, amid signs the city's danger may be easing.

Adisak Kantee, deputy director of Bangkok's drainage department, says runoff from the north has decreased slightly and high tides that could have impeded drainage to the Gulf of Thailand have not been severe as expected.

It may be several days before the city is fully out of danger. In the meantime, nervous residents have cleared supermarkets of bottled water, and sandbagged key properties.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

RANGSIT, Thailand (AP) – Flood barriers protecting the Thai capital from the country's worst floodwaters in decades have been holding up so far.

Communities neighboring Bangkok have been swamped, and nationwide 297 people have been killed.

But the elaborate system flood walls, canals, dikes and underground tunnels protecting Bangkok kept flooding at bay for most of the capital Sunday, amid signs the city's danger may be easing.

Adisak Kantee, deputy director of Bangkok's drainage department, says runoff from the north has decreased slightly and high tides that could have impeded drainage to the Gulf of Thailand have not been severe as expected.

It may be several days before the city is fully out of danger. In the meantime, nervous residents have cleared supermarkets of bottled water, and sandbagged key properties.

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This general view shows the flooded World Heritage site Chaiwattanaram Temple in the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya, 80 kms north of Bangkok, on October 12, 2011. At least 269 people have died in more than two months of floods that have damaged the homes and livelihoods of millions of people, according to the government. (Getty)
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Filed by Eline Gordts  |