Bangkok strengthens defenses as floods close in

BANGKOK - City workers and soldiers raced to finish defensive walls around inner Bangkok on Thursday as floodwater that has covered about a third of Thailand threatened the capital.
After a meeting with ministers, army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters that flood barriers in three vulnerable locations had almost been completed.
"We talked about evacuation plans to help people living near the Chao Phraya river. If there's an emergency, we're ready to act," he said. "The worry now is that from today until Oct. 19 there will be a high tide and the important thing is to push water out to the sea as fast as possible."
At least 283 people have been killed around Thailand by heavy monsoon rain, floods and mudslides since late July and 26 of its 77 provinces are inundated, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.
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