Thai capital Bangkok to escape massive flooding

17 October 2011 05:42  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The floods in Thailand, which have killed 297 people and affected several manufacturing hubs, are unlikely to reach low-lying capital Bangkok, the country’s Flood Relief Operation Command (FROC) said late on Sunday.

“The FROC is confident that the flood waters will not reach Bangkok as they are diverted and channelled into the Chao Phraya river,” the FROC said in a statement.

Currently, there are 26 out of 76 provinces in Thailand that are fighting the flood waters, with the central bank and government expecting damages at about Thai baht (Bt) 100bn ($3.24bn), or more than 1% of the country’s GDP.

Thailand’s Finance Ministry has cut its GDP growth forecast for this year to 3.7%.

Around 2.34m people have been affected by the floods since monsoon rains began lashing Thailand in late July, according to a statement by the Disaster Relief Operating Centre.

A total of 930 factories across Thailand have been damaged, according to data from the Ministry of Industry.

Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani and Nakhon Sawan provinces, located north of Bangkok, have been devastated by the flood waters, with five industrial estates in Ayutthaya still submerged.

The production facilities of Japanese automakers Honda Motor Corp and Toyota Motor Corp are among those that are shut because of the floods, which have mostly affected manufacturers of electronic components and car parts.

Honda on 14 October said it will keep its plant in Ayutthaya, which makes up 4.7% of the automaker’s global output, shut until 21 October.

Meanwhile, volunteers and soldiers on Monday continued to reinforce dykes surrounding Nawanakorn industrial estate in Pathum Thani, one of the largest industrial parks in the country with more than 200 factories, according to the FROC.

However, petrochemical production in the country will likely be unaffected with its primary location at Map Ta Phut in Rayong province lying safely in the eastern coast of Thailand, according to industry sources.

($1 = Bt30.78)

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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