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Bangkok’s traffic turns chaos as predawn rains lash the capital

Heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorm lashed the capital before dawn on Wednesday (Jan 10) causing flooding in many parts of Bangkok, particularly the eastern zone.

Several major roads from outer areas into the commercial districts of the capital are flooded with water level as high as 40 centimetres, knocking down several motor vehicles on the streets.

Until late this morning in rush hours, rains continued in many areas and the traffic situation remained critical in many areas.

One office employee reported leaving home at about 5.30 am in Bang Chan by city bus, in Bangkok's eastern zone, but by 9.30 am he could make it only to Big C supercentre on Lat Phrao road, or four hours for less than 10 kilometres in distance.

Another motorist also reported that he was stuck with the traffic in front of the Mall Bang Kapi at about 7 am and until 9 am his car could move less than a kilometre.

The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) said the rainfall was caused by confrontation between the high pressure system, which is now covering the Northeast, and the hot air mass.

When the cold weather system meet the warmer weather in Bangkok, it then caused heavy rains, they added. The rain is predicted to continue throughout the day.

Areas hardest-hit by the rainfall and flooding are: Lat Phrao, Min Buri, Bung Kum, Nong Chok, Khan Na Yao, Chaengwattana, Vibhavadi Rangsit, Phahonyothin roads, and areas along the Chao Phraya River.

The TMD predicted that the temperature will drop by 4-6C in the Central and the East and 6-8C in the upper part of the country later today.

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said average rainfall in most part of the capital is 50mm. The highest rainfall level of 89mm was measured in Min Buri and Nong Chok districts.

JS100 Radio reported heavy traffic on the expressway from Chaengwattana into the inner city as motorists flocked to use the expressway to avoid flooding.

If you drive into the expressway system, you will be trapped and couldn't get out as there is no exit for you to leave. But if you use normal road, you can avoid or take other detour roads, a JS100 announcer advised the audiences.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)