By Elizabeth Tromans
At the foot of an overpass about 40 km northeast of central Bangkok, Father Ongart Kaesue, known as Father June, pulls over his truck and announces, “This is where the flood begins.” A volunteer wearing a bright orange vest asks drivers their destination in order to arrange rides for the dozens of people standing on a nearby platform. “Saphan Mai,” says Father June, and the volunteer shouts the location into the megaphone. A few people with bags of groceries climb into the back of the truck and we cautiously continue into standing water.
In the industrial province of Ayutthaya, where some of the biggest Japanese manufacturers like Toyota and Honda have factories, construction is resuming and there are signs that life is gradually beginning to recover after the floods. Walking into the Roong Charoen Market, still the site of an emergency evacuation centre, the sounds of drills and dust particles in the air promise economic recovery for this bustling province.
BANGKOK, 30 November 2011 (IRIN) - As 16 billion cubic metres of flood water bore down on Bangkok in early October, international experts flew in to help the government deal with an unprecedented potential calamity. [ http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=94085 ].
Global temperatures in 2011 have not been as warm as the record-setting values seen in 2010 but have likely been warmer than any previous strong La Niña year, based on preliminary data from data sources compiled by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). The global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature for 2011 (January–October) is currently estimated at 0.41°C ± 0.111°C (0.74°F ± 0.20°F) above the 1961–1990 annual average of 14.00°C/57.2°F.
By Lynette Lim
The poverty in this slum-like area of Rangsit, Pathum Thani in Thailand was apparent. It was nightfall by the time our aid distribution truck arrived, and I found myself standing in front of two wooden thatched houses, a beam of light shining on them just enough for me to find my way around. Each block had about eight tiny rooms, and each of those rooms provided shelter for an entire family.
Gabrielle Paluch | Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand’s historic floods are now slowly receding. But in Bangkok, scores of evacuees are reluctant to go home. As the government discusses how to compensate flood victims for their losses, residents who are facing the task of rebuilding their lives speak out.
At the height of the floods, the Chaeng Wattana evacuation center in Thailand’s capital housed over 3,800 people. Many are now going home.
By Thin Lei Win
BANGKOK (AlertNet) – Flood-embattled Mekong countries must toughen up codes on building and engage citizens in risk reduction efforts in the face of mounting natural disasters, the chief of the U.N. disaster reduction agency told AlertNet.
Read the full story on AlertNet
BANGKOK, 28 November 2011 (IRIN) - Less than a year after Bangkok was chosen as a "role model city" [ http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=90748 ] by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) as part of the UN's 2010-2015 "Making Cities Resilient" campaign, the worst floods in half a century put that distinction to the test.
Following are the remarks, as prepared for delivery, of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the East Asia Summit, delivered in Bali, Indonesia, 19 November:
It seems only yesterday that many of us were together in Cannes.
The very serious economic issues dominating the Group of Twenty (G-20) summit still command our daily attention, and they are likely to do so for a considerable time to come.
As we all know, Asia has been the chief driver of global growth in recent years.
Durban climate talks must deliver action to prevent spiraling hunger
In the last year extreme weather events shocked global markets contributing to soaring wheat prices and imperiling food security in many parts of the world, according to research compiled by Oxfam at the start of the Durban climate talks.
This year could be a grim foretaste of what is to come as new warnings from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) show extreme weather events are likely to increase in frequency and severity without action to tackle climate change.
Severe flooding has caused serious damage across south-east Asia, affecting around 9 million people. Thailand has been better placed to cope than its neighbours
Read the full story on the Guardian's Poverty Matters Blog
I. HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES
• On 8 November, the Union Government held a coordination meeting, chaired by the Vice President, to discuss the ongoing rehabilitation work among relevant government departments.
• The Central Government and local authorities identified recovery needs in shelter reconstruction, restoration of agriculture and water supplies.
The current flood woe engulfing major parts of Thailand are serious concern to many. Being a close neighbour sharing borders in four states of the peninsular as well as cultural and historical relations, Malaysia feels responsible to lend support to Thailand for the relief effort. Due to the desire to help Thailand, some prominent voluntary and service groups as well as NGOs and other institution has formed humanitarian team. The team lead by Dato’ Latt Shariman Abdullah, Special Functions Officer to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
On 22 November 2011, Mr. Johannes Andries Boer, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Thailand, paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, to discuss water resources management issues from flood crisis in Thailand.
24 Nov 2011 02:59
Source: reuters // Reuters
BANGKOK, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Thailand's worst floods in 50 years have killed 610 people and devastated industry, but the situation is slowly improving, with water receding in many affected areas and some firms resuming business.
The government, central bank and economists have slashed their economic growth forecasts for the year.
The government has pledged 130 billion baht ($4.2 billion) to help the recovery effort, but rebuilding and improvement of defences will require huge sums.
The lingering flood-waters on the Chao Phraya plain, especially in and around Bangkok, are a reminder of the vulnerability of all low-lying cities in Asia to heavy rainfall. While parts of the city have continued to function, though with difficulty, a number of outlying areas are still flooded and barely able to function more than a month after the beginning of the flood. This NTS Insight briefly examines the likely costs of the flood.
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Johnie Hickmon
LOPBURI, Thailand - Sailors from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) continued providing flood relief assistance and disaster relief to Thailand during a combined services project at Watsanamchai Temple School Nov. 20.
Since arriving on the 16th, Sailors have been providing assistance to victims of flooding that began in late July, claimed hundreds of lives and left many without food, water and basic supplies.
This map presents a time series analysis of the dramatic southward progression of flood waters from the central provinces of Thailand towards the capital city of Bangkok, based on satellite data recorded from mid-August to 14 November 2011. Flood waters have been symbolized by color to represent the relative expansion of water from month to month. In the map, by mid-August flood waters were restricted to Northern provinces, symbolized in yellow.
Recurrent floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, and seasonal typhoons, as well as limited government response capaci-ty in some countries, present significant challenges to vul-nerable populations in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region. Between Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 and FY 2011, USAID’s Office of U.S.