Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Severe flooding in Thailand has left more than 300 people dead and stranded thousands of others. As rain waters continue to inundate farms and flood cities, the country now faces about $7 billion in damages.

The situation began at the start of monsoon season in July, and three months of rain has resulted in the worst flooding in Thailand for 50 years.

Yingluck Shinawatra, the country's newly elected prime minister, warned Thai citizens that unless waters can be diverted into the sea, Bangkok could be even more severely damaged. Around 90 percent of the locks in the capital, which sits on the Gulf of Thailand, have been opened to allow water to drain out of the city, but additional storms could still cause massive floods, according to The Guardian.

Thai soldiers also built flood walls in Bangkok using more than one million sandbags.

The situation has invited criticism of Yingluck, who some Thais feel didn't properly warn or prepare the country for the disaster. So far, she has refused to call a state of emergency, fearing it would scare off tourists, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The rainy season has also affected Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, where nearly 10,000 people have had to leave their homes.