Thailand floods: Eyewitness account

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Thai military and civilian volunteers are continuing their efforts to try and stop Thailand's worst floods in decades from inundating the capital, Bangkok.

Canals have been drained to allow for excessive water flow and sandbags have been piled up around the city.

Nicola Gurney is an English teacher in Nakhon Sawan, a city that has been badly affected by the floods.

Water levels

Image caption,
The water levels have reached two metres in some areas of Nakhon Sawan. Photo: Nerriza Ballee

"The situation in Nakhon Sawan is really bad.

"The city is under several metres of water and people are saying that the levels won't go down for another month.

"Every school, college, orphanage, temple or stadium that is still on dry land is being used to house the homeless while we wait for the water to recede.

"Initially it looked as though we would escape the worst of the flooding as the city has flood defences but there was an accident. A boat ran up against the flood walls allowing the water to come into the city. Soon the levels were over two metres.

"I'm staying in the temple where I teach English to novice monks. There are 1300 of us here and many of the evacuees have lost everything.

"Most of our friends have lost their homes. The hospitals have had to be evacuated.

"Luckily, two or three times a day we have running water to fill up buckets so that everyone can wash. People are coming from all over the city to draw water from the well here.

Depressing situation

Image caption,
Many people have had to leave their homes because of the flooding.Photo: Nerriza Ballee

"I also hear that two people have already died from electrocution. Their houses were flooded and the power hadn't been switched off.

"The atmosphere here is strange. Everyone is getting on with things. I thought that people would be crying in the streets, but everybody seems to be coping with the situation really well.

"People who have lost everything are still volunteering, giving out food, filling sandbags and distributing medicines.

"But it has been really difficult. I don't think I've ever been in such a depressing situation.

"All we can do now is talk to other people about what's going on.

"We also have access to the internet and our mobiles so we can keep in touch with our families, which makes a big difference."