Central Bangkok escapes worst of Thailand floods

of Bangkok appears to have escaped the impact of the country’s worst floods in half a century.

Almost 400 people have died in months of floods with the lives of more than two million disrupted.

Inner Bangkok, protected by a network of dikes and sandbag walls, looks to have escaped the deluge with peak tides on the Chao Phraya river due to pass and better weather setting in.

But neighbourhoods on the wrong side of the protective ring, especially to the north and west, and provinces to the north, have been swamped. People living in Thonburi, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya, have been struggling in waist-deep water for days, as have those in suburbs and provinces to the north of Bangkok.

The government plans to spend 900 billion baht ($30 billion) on reconstruction, flood prevention and helping industry, according to energy minister Pichai Naripthaphan. The recovery plan includes 800 billion baht for an overhaul of the water-management system and 100 billion for the rehabilitation of industrial estates.

“Every crisis has an opportunity. We are studying how to rebuild the country's economy and competitiveness. We have studied models from several countries,” Pichai told the Reuters news agency. “Solving the flood crisis is the