11/09/2011, 00.00
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As flooding continues, Bangkok still at risk, but govt allocates US$ bn to reconstruction

by Weena Kowitwanij
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has 17 pumps working around the clock to save the business district. PM Shinawatra looks at the future, creating two commissions to work on preventing similar catastrophes. Flooding also hits Vietnam, killing more than 100 people.
Bangkok (AsiaNews) – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has stepped up its efforts to save the capital’s business district from flooding. At present, 17 pumps are working full time to remove water from critical points. Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced that almost US$ 4 billion would be spent on reconstruction as soon as the emergency was over.

Benedict XVI also referred to the floods in his Wednesday audience (see “Pope: prayer and solidarity with the countries affected by floods,” AsiaNews, 9 November 2011).

The problem is also affecting Vietnam where the death toll has topped 100. More than 30,000 residents in the country’s central provinces are under an evacuation order.

The Thai prime minister set up two strategically important commissions to help the country rebuild and prevent further natural disasters. The first one, dedicated to reconstruction and rehabilitation, will be headed by Virapong Ramangkul, an export in economic analysis. The second will focus on water resource management and will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, with Sumet Tantivejchakul as chief adviser.

Commissioners are optimistic about the future, saying that all the necessary steps would be taken before the end of the year to prevent similar events.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shinawatra has cancelled a trip to Hawaii for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit (12-13 November).

At home, people are still measuring the damage caused by the floods, which were especially hard on manufacturing. Up to 700,000 people could be unemployed because of the worst floods in half a century.
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Bangkok: emergency continues with contaminated water and industrial zone at risk
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