Overnight rains cause massive flooding in Bangkok

A car is submerged by floodwater at a street in central of Bangkok, Thailand, Oct 14, 2017. The Bangkok Post reported that at least 55 major roads were submerged following heavy rain in the early hours of Saturday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANGKOK - Heavy rains lashed Bangkok past midnight on Friday (Oct 13) and continued into the early hours of Saturday, leading to flooding on many roads in the Thai capital.

At around 7.30am local time (8.30am Singapore time) on Saturday, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Drainage Department issued a plea on its Facebook page, urging Bangkok residents with no urgent business to stay home as many roads were still inundated, The Nation reported.

The Bangkok Post reported that at least 55 major roads were submerged following heavy rain in the early hours of Saturday, with the water ranging from 30cm to thigh-high levels.

Around half of the flooded spots had cleared up as of 9am.

The central Phra Nakhon district received the heaviest rainfall measuring 203mm.

Singaporean hospitality consultant Ethan Lee, 37, said on Saturday that it was one of the worst flash floods he had seen since he moved to Bangkok six years ago.

"The rain started past midnight and went on till the wee hours of the morning. I walked past the Central Park this morning and I've never seen so much water accumulated in the ponds. Some of the major intersections in the city centre were submerged, and (people in) smaller alleys that don't have wide drains are still trying to pump the water out," he told The Straits Times.

By evening, it was "business as usual" with street vendors setting up stalls in dry areas, he said, but noted that it was not a good sign that "the sky looks grey again".

Recent graduate Melissa Han, 24, who was on holiday in Bangkok, said she was stuck in a jam for close to two hours as cars tried to make their way around town in several inches of floodwater.

"It was not my ideal way of spending precious vacation time, but we managed to enjoy ourselves in a mall and get out to dry places later," she said.

Meteorological reports predict rain to continue till Oct 17. When asked, tour agencies such as CTC Travel and Sino-America Tours Corporation said trips to Bangkok would still go on as per normal.

Additional reporting by Rachel Au-Yong

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