IOM Delivers US Flood Aid to Thai Disaster Response Agency
As floodwaters continue advance on the heart of the Thai capital,
IOM will today (21/10/11) deliver a first consignment of essential
relief items funded by a USD 500,000 donation from the US Agency
for International Development (USAID).
Today's handover to the Thai Department of Disaster Preparedness
and Mitigation (DDPM) at the government flood relief operations
centre at Bangkok's former Don Muang airport, will include two
flat-bottomed aluminium boats with outboard engines, ten dispelling
pumps with 3-inch tubes, ten generators and a hundred family
"lifestraw" water purifiers.
"IOM is racing to procure more boats, outboards, pumps,
generators, water purification units and life vests to help
Thailand to respond to this escalating disaster," says IOM Thailand
Acting Chief of Mission Hans Beckers, who visited the Don Muang
centre with US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney yesterday.
The government and residents are currently fighting to reinforce
Bangkok's flood defences to divert pent up flood waters from
Thailand's central plains into channels around the city, from where
the water can drain into the Gulf of Thailand.
But the sheer volume of water and seasonal high tides has
already resulted in some flooding and the forced evacuation of some
districts in the densely populated city of 12 million. The
situation is widely expected to deteriorate and more evacuations
According to Thai officials, the floods, which are affecting a
third of the country, have already killed 320 people and forced
thousands of families to leave their homes and move into government
The Thai economy has also suffered, with flooded industrial
parks, factory shutdowns and submerged agricultural land. At
least half a million people have been left without work.
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