BANGKOK • Residents of Bangkok were yesterday morning greeted by the sight of flooded roads that submerged cars and caused traffic jams in some areas after heavy rain lashed the Thai capital overnight, Thai media reports said.
At least 55 major roads were flooded following the downpour, the Bangkok Post reported. It said the water ranged from depths of 30cm up to thigh-high.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Drainage Department yesterday urged residents with no urgent business to stay home, The Nation reported.
Traffic jams were reported across the capital. By late afternoon, most of the flooded areas had been cleared. The central Phra Nakhon district was worst-hit, with rainfall measuring 214.5mm, the highest single-day rainfall in a decade.
Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang apologised to the public, saying officials had done everything they could, the Post reported.
He said drainage had been slow due to the volume of rainwater, with high seas aggravating the problem.
Singaporean hospitality consultant Ethan Lee, 37, said 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 Sunday Times. By evening, it was "business as usual" with street vendors setting up stalls in dry areas, he said.
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 the floodwater. "It was not my ideal way of spending precious vacation time," she said.
Meteorological reports predict the rain will continue till Tuesday.
When asked, tour agencies such as CTC Travel and Sino-America Tours Corporation said trips to Bangkok would go on as usual.
•Additional reporting by Rachel Au-Yong
Serious flooding in central Bangkok after heavy rainfall
Central Bangkok, including popular tourist hot spots such as Sukhumvit Road, Chatuchak and Wat Pho, was hit by floods yesterday. At least 55 major roads in the Thai capital were submerged by floodwater triggered by heavy rainfall overnight. As much as 214.5mm of rainfall was recorded in the worst-hit central Phra Nakhon district. The floods caused traffic jams across the capital, with locals forced to wade through thigh-deep water. Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang apologised but said officials had done everything they could, adding that the last time so much rain fell was around 25 years ago.