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Thailand Flood Shuts Major Bangkok Airport

By By Jim Andrews, Accuweather.com Senior Meteorologist
October 28, 2011, 1:38:17 AM EDT

Floodwaters pouring through the economic heartland of Thailand have forced the suspending of all flights at one of Bangkok's airports.

Beginning in July, Thailand and much of Indochina have been hit with unusually heavy monsoon rain. The excessive rainfall has been yielding the worst flooding in decades, multiple reports have said.

Although the frequent, heavy rain has ended over flood-weary northern and central Thailand, the last of the exceptionally high flow will take weeks to enter the sea near Bangkok.

A flood barrier at the Don Muang Airport was breached, BBC News reported on Tuesday. Located on the north side of Bangkok, Don Muang is used mostly for domestic flights.

The Suvarnabhumi International Airport is still operating, the BBC said.

Bangkok is fighting a major battle with floodwaters flowing seaward along the Chao Phraya River from the Thai hinterland. The Chao Phraya hit a record high on Monday, the BBC reported.

Officials have been diverting some of the flow into floodways east and west of Bangkok. However, the overwhelming flow of water has necessitated opening sluice gates into the city itself.

Seven districts of Bangkok are said to be at risk of flooding as of Tuesday.

The Don Muang Airport grounds have become an evacuation center and a headquarters for the governments flood relief work. Flooding has not reached runways, yet the runway closure is not expected to be lifted for a week, according to the BBC.

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