Fears have been raised that snakes, crocodiles and disease could threaten locals and tourists as Thailand battles continually rising floodwaters.
The main river coursing through the capital of Bangkok swelled to record highs today amid concern that flood defences could break and swamp the heart of the city.
British holidaymakers have already been warned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to avoid all but essential travel to Bangkok after changing its advice. Tens of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate the city.
But the next threat could be lurking in the floodwater. This morning, on a street in front of the Grand Palace normally bustling with tourists, a two-metre (6.5-ft) snake was caught by a motorcycle taxi driver and residents have also had to contend with crocodiles escaping from flooded farms.
The higher than normal tides in the Gulf of Thailand, expected to peak tomorrow, are obstructing the flood runoff from the north of the country, and there are fears that the overflows could hit parts of the city centre.
Seven of Bangkok’s 50 districts – all in the northern outskirts – are heavily flooded, and residents have fled aboard bamboo rafts and army trucks and by wading in waist-deep water. Another eight districts have seen less serious flooding.
Big-name tourist hotels are emptying. Foreign governments are warning their citizens away. Residents are debating whether to evacuate before the latest flooding disaster worsens.
Flights to destinations elsewhere in Thailand,Chiang Mai,Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Phuket, and Koh Samui continue to operate normally.
Chiangrai Times – Anna Wong