Many parts of the world have seen heavy storms and flooding this year, and this week, Thailand’s capital is one of them: on Tuesday, water was heading into Bangkok from several directions. Volunteers are filling sandbags—the city’s governor appeared on television Monday to urge citizens to fill at least a million of them by Wednesday—and are attempting to build a dike along the Chao Phraya River. At least 315 people are reported to have died in the flooding.
Since the monsoon season began in July, as much as two-thirds of the country has experienced flooding, shutting down factories and destroying farms. Just days ago, government officials in Thailand were saying that the worst of the floods had bypassed the capital. However, more water is now moving toward the city from the north and from a floodplain to the east. People in the hardest-hit areas north of the city were first encouraged to move belongings to the upper floors of their homes, and some people are now trapped inside their homes.
The floods are the country’s worst in 50 years. Bangkok, with about 12 million people, is located in the Chao Phraya delta, which is believed to be slowly sinking. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has declared Bangkok one of the coastal cities at highest risk for flooding over the next century.