,Hesco barrier-Concerns, floodwaters rise in Bangkok
The death toll from Thailand's worst flooding in half a century reached 506 Sunday as floodwaters inched southward toward downtown Bangkok, the interior ministry said. With evacuations already affecting at least 11 of Bangkok's 50 districts, its governor, Sukhumbhand Paribatra, on Sunday expressed fresh concerns about even-worse flooding due to malfunctions at 14 flood gates in western Bangkok, the state-run MCOT news agency reported. Moreover, the city's flood relief operations headquarters (which has already been moved once) is now surrounded by water. Even so, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that there are no plans currently to move it, according to MCOT. Advertisement The water continued to rise further Sunday around the city. Hints of seeming normalcy -- like all 18 subway stations operating normally,Hesco barrier, despite some station entrances being closed -- clashed against continuing concerns about the situation and the government's ability to handle it. "I don't know what the government is doing,Welded Box-Thailand tries to help companies, as floods spread," said resident Chaiwat Rattanawitthayapol, as he shopped for water pumps and sandbags to protect his home. "They promised that water would be diverted to the east and west. ... Why is water coming closer and closer to (the) central part? I don't see any improvement." At the sprawling 27-acre Chatuchak Weekend Market, only about 10% of the booths were open. Some merchants reduced prices to draw shoppers. "There are a lot less people (who came) today. ... People are afraid of flooding,Flood Barrier," one shop owner told CNN. Meanwhile, Arun Sricharoon, the market's director, kept a close eye on the approaching waters. A 2-foot (60-centimeter) wall around the market should help prevent flooding, he said. "I think the wall is still able to handle the flood," he said. "But if water spills into the market, and if it affects the safety of shop owners,Hesco Barrier, then we will announce the (market's) closure." Across the country, the flooding -- now in its third month -- has affected 25 of Thailand's 76 provinces. A Thailand Disaster and Mitigation Department report, issued Sunday and reported by MCOT, estimated about 3.1 million people have been affected and 4 million acres of farmland have been damaged. Moreover,Military Bastions-Thai confidence at 10-year low; floods hit more firms, the department said two people are believed missing and about 75 highways have closed. In the provinces of Nakhon Sawan and Ayutthaya, cleanup efforts were under way.