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Thailand Inundated With Deadly Floodwaters

Thailand is experiencing crippling floods that have caused scores of deaths and damaging property and crops, as well as imposing significant business interruptions on Toyota, Daimler and Apple, and delaying the national school term.

World food supply may be affected too, as Thailand is the world’s top rice exporter. Traders and analysts estimate about 2 million tonnes of milled rice may have been ruined, with delays to the loading of 100,000 tonnes of rice.

Water now covers a third of Thailand’s provinces, some four million acres (1.6 million hectares) in the north, northeast and center of the country, and a seventh big industrial estate was overwhelmed late on Thursday when flood barriers at the Bang Kadi park in Pathum Thani were breached, says an Reuters article by resident journalists Panarat Thepgumpanat and Jutarat Skulpichetrat.

Thailand is not the only country affected – floods have also killed at least 247 in Cambodia and displaced tens of thousands of people. However, the article says that Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is resisting calls to declare a national emergency, citing fears about damage to investor confidence. The central bank has estimated the current damage to industry at more than 100 billion baht ($3.3 billion).

ACT addressed damage from extreme weather in its 2009 Climate Change Adaptation and Extreme Weather report, and we are currently building two new reports which will address aspects of Thailand’s situation: Climate Impacts on Coastal Mega-Cities – a collaborative project led by ACT Extreme Weather author, Dr. Gordon McBean at the University of Western Ontario, in which we are partnered with Bangkok, Manila and Lagos; and our Climate Change Adaptation and Food Supply report, due out April 2012.

 

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