Bangkok Residents Flee As Floodwaters Rise

Thailand is experiencing the worst floods in a half-century, with parts of Bangkok underwater.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. In Thailand, what are being called the worst floods in 50 years have left at least 360 people dead. People in the capital, Bangkok, have begun fleeing the city as more rains are expected this weekend.

SHAPIRO: One of those who have fled is Jack Ruenprapan. He works as a journalist in Bangkok and left the city yesterday out of concern for his two-and-a-half-year-old triplets.

JACK RUENPRAPAN: If it was just me and my wife, we would probably try to ride it out, but because having young children, with the danger of losing power and water, then it was best for us to get out of the city.

MONTAGNE: Parts of Bangkok are already underwater. The government has ordered a five-day holiday to encourage residents to evacuate. Buses, trains, and roads are jammed today, with thousands trying to flee.

SHAPIRO: Ruenprapan says people have nearly exhausted the supplies in some parts of Bangkok.

RUENPRAPAN: If you go to any of the stores, you'll see that bottled water is gone, dried noodles are also very difficult to come by. Milk as well. I mean, certain items that we need.

SHAPIRO: That's Jack Ruenprapan, one of several thousands escaping Bangkok ahead of rains that are flooding the city.

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