Bangkok residents were piling sandbags outside buildings and stocking up on essentials before a weekend in which the worst monsoon flooding in decades could hit the capital.
Authorities have been warning for days that water overflow from the north could combine with more rain and high tides to inundate the low-lying metropolis, which is home to 9 million people. But Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra tried Friday to reassure jittery residents that Bangkok would be spared.
“Bangkok may face some problems in areas that are on the outer sides of the irrigation dikes … but inner Bangkok has extremely high defenses,” she told reporters, according to Reuters.
The flooding has submerged factories, fields and homes, severed rail and road links, and swamped ancient Buddhist temples in central Thailand. More than 280 people have been killed since a series of tropical storms began hitting the country in late July, according to news reports.
-- Alexandra Zavis in Los Angeles
Photo: Thai soldiers help residents in Pathum Thani province on Friday. Credit: Athit Perawongmetha /Getty Images