Bangkok, October 2011
Part V

After Part IV

October 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 (Pre-journal)

Scary news from my minder:

October 26, 2011

Warden Message: Emergency Message to U.S. Citizens: Update on Flooding in Thailand

Flooding continues in central Thailand and is becoming more widespread in the Bangkok Metropolitan area. We do not know how long these conditions will last. As a purely precautionary measure, U.S. citizens assigned to the Embassy who live approximately 12 kilometers north of central Bangkok in Pakred District, Nonthaburi Province have the option of relocating to central Bangkok, should they wish to do so. Extensive flooding in Thailand, especially in Central Thailand between Bangkok and Sukhotai, has caused considerable damage and loss of life. It is possible that portions of inner Bangkok may be flooded, particularly in areas along the Chao Phraya River. There are reports of bottled water and food shortages within the Bangkok Metropolitan area. Evacuation centers have been and are being established by local municipal authorities. Most centers are located at schools and temples (Note: Evacuation routes are not defined, unlike many places in the U.S.). You can contact the Thai Government Call Center at 1111 ext. 9 for detailed information in your area.

In many flooded areas, surface transportation has either been suspended or diverted around those areas. Portions of highways are closed and bus and train services linking Bangkok with points to the north are suspended and some routes to the northeast have been diverted. Don Muang Airport, which typically handles a number of domestic flights into and out of Bangkok, is currently closed due to flooding. Flights into and out of Don Muang Airport have either been canceled or diverted to Suvarnabhumi International Airport, which remains fully operational. We recommend you check with airlines for details.

In response to the flooding, the Thai Government has declared a special public holiday from October 27-31, 2011 in 21 provinces, to include Bangkok, Sukhothai, Pichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Singhburi, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Lopburi, Sara Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Pracheen Buri, Chacherngsao, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Kamphang Peth, and Tak. During this period of time, many Thai public offices will be closed. The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok will continue to provide essential services to American Citizens. Some provinces have also postponed the start of the new school semester. Please check with individual schools for details.

Since the situation is changing rapidly, we recommend that you monitor local media sources. We are posting general information, guidance about the flood situation, and resources for U.S. citizens on our website at: http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/flood_information.html and on the Embassy Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/usembassybkk?sk=app_139229522811253. Updated notifications with information for U.S. citizens are available via Twitter at @ACSBKK .

If you live within the Bangkok Metropolitan area and are affected by the flooding and need urgent assistance, contact the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's flood hotline at 1555. If you live elsewhere, contact the Thai Government's English-speaking Tourist Police, who can be reached nationwide by dialing 1155. For general information you can contact the Government Call Center at 1111 ext. 5. For Thai speakers, there are hotlines for trains: 1690; buses: 1490; highway: 1586, 1784; and 1146 for local roads; highway police: 1193, and emergencies: 191. You can see the Thai Meteorological Department's weather forecasts and warnings at its website, www.tmd.go.th/en/.

The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy (http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/service.html) is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by e-mailing acsbkk@state.gov. The Embassy's after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-2-205-4000. The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai (http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/service.html) is located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107-777 and by e-mail at acschn@state.gov. The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878.

For the latest security information, you should regularly monitor the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website (http://travel.state.gov/), where current Worldwide Cautions, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings and health-information resources can be found. You can also obtain up-to-date information on security by calling 1-888-407-4747 (toll free) in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers in other areas, by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

We encourage you notify us of your presence in Thailand by enrolling in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), available at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.

This email is UNCLASSIFIED


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Rain Goddess is truly pissed at Bangkok.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bangkok's Lumpini Park and my cache, "Rocky", are both still dry.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Gloom from the minder.

October 28, 2011

Emergency Message to U.S. Citizens: New Travel Alert for Thailand

1. This Travel Alert is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to difficulties related to travel in the flood-affected areas of the central and lower parts of northern Thailand, including Bangkok. Severe flooding has hampered transportation and limited access to some essential services in the affected regions. The U.S. Department of State recommends against all but essential travel to the affected areas. This Travel Alert extends only to the areas of Thailand listed in the following paragraph. Most tourist destinations, such as Phuket and Chiang Mai, are unaffected by the current flooding. Bangkok's main international airport, Suvarnabhumi, is operating normally. This Travel Alert will expire on January 26, 2012.

2. A series of particularly strong seasonal storms with exceptionally heavy rainfall have produced extensive flooding throughout many provinces in Thailand, causing significant damage and loss of life. The flood waters are now affecting central and lower parts of northern Thailand. The affected areas include metropolitan Bangkok and 20 additional provinces: Sukhothai, Pichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Singhburi, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Lopburi, Sara Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Pracheen Buri, Chacherngsao, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Kamphang Peth, and Tak.

3. The flooding is becoming more widespread in the outer Bangkok Metropolitan area. It is possible that portions of inner Bangkok may become flooded, particularly in areas along the Chao Phraya River. There are reports of shortages of bottled water and selected food items within the Bangkok metropolitan area, and it is possible that transportation and electric power could be disrupted. It is unclear how long these conditions will last, and U.S. citizens living in flood-affected areas should follow the advice of local authorities, monitor local media, and refer to the U.S. Embassy web page for specific information.

4. In many flooded areas surface transportation has either been suspended or diverted to other areas. Portions of highways are closed and bus and train services linking Bangkok with points to the north are suspended and some routes to the northeast have been diverted. Don Muang Airport, which typically handles a number of domestic flights, is closed due to flooding. Flights into and out of Don Muang Airport have either been canceled or diverted to Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok's main international Airport. We recommend travelers check with their airlines for additional details.

5. U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Thailand are strongly advised to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.

6. U.S. citizens living in Thailand should contact the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok for up-to-date information on any restrictions. The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy (http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/service.html) is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by e-mailing acsbkk@state.gov. The Embassy's after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-2-205-4000. The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai (http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/service.html) is located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107-777 and by e-mail at acschn@state.gov. The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878. You can also follow the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok's American Citizen Services Unit on Twitter for further updates.

7. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

This email is UNCLASSIFIED


PS: One part Thai, one part Farang.


PPS: Our lobby is bracing.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Preparing for the worst ... well, not really the worst. Just the most inconvenient ... having no on line water to flush toilets.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

While other parts of Bangkok flood we drive to a 5 Star hotel for a buffet lunch.


PS: Wow!

Alf,

This is how we keep our pumpkins fresh for Halloween in Pennsylvania. Got about 6 inches of snow here today.

How are things going with the flood there?

Stephani


Monday, October 31, 2011 (Halloween)

This is the scariest Halloween that I have ever experienced. But, the condo is doing its best to keep the blood waters at bay (pun).


PS: Ruam Rudee Shopping Mall is calm and quiet but there is a haunted tree opposite the Ruam Rudee Massage place.


PPS: But, we have a beautiful night sky.

Next: November

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