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Heavy rains paralyzes Bangkok, turning roads into canals

Heavy rains last night and before dawn today paralyzed Bangkok's traffic as several major roads in the inner and outer zones are under water, forcing several schools and small businesses to close.

A large number of motorists have left their cars at homes as some roads were submerged with floodwater of up to 50 centimetres and turned to electric train services instead.

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRT) and the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) reported 20-30% increase of passengers in their subway and sky train routes today than normal.

The surge in commuters forced both train operators to increase the frequencies of their trains to cope with the demand.

Heavily affected by rains today was Lard Prao where city officials said heavy rains dumped almost 170 millimeters of water in the area, turning Lard Prao road into a canal.

By late this morning, some section of Lard Prao road remain under water, especially on Ratchadapisek road.

Several sections of Chaengwattana, Ngamwongwan, Pattanakarn, Ramkhamhaeng, Srinakharin, Vibhavadi and Sukhumvit were under water last night.

But city officials said by late in the morning, they have drained water out into canals, and traffic could be resumed but at snarl pace as several sois of these major roads are still under knee deep water.

Several cars were knocked down by floodwater at dawn as motorists were unaware of the depth of water in the submerged roads. Their vehicles were abandoned on the roads, thus worsening the traffic situation during the morning rush hour.

City officials also reported difficulties in draining foodwater on the roads to canals due to huge piles of garbage blocking the water draining system.

Moreover the water level in the canals are high, and in some areas same as on the roads, making water draining impossible.

By late today, traffic congestion is still reported at several main roads to the capital's business and commercial areas.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)