BANGKOK - Receding floodwaters north of Bangkok have reduced the threat to the Thai capital, the prime minister said on Saturday, but a rise in coastal high tides in the Gulf of Thailand will still test the city's flood defenses.
"If things go on like this, we expect floodwater in Bangkok to recede within the first week of November," Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on national television.
Bangkok's main waterway, the Chao Phraya River, has swollen close to its brink during unusually high tides, causing some flooding in nearby areas. Buildings across Bangkok have been sand-bagged for protection. Many residents have fled the city or stocked up on water, food, life jackets and even boats.
Thailand's worst floods in half a century have killed 377 people since July, wiped out a quarter of the main rice crop in the world's biggest exporter, forced up global prices of computer hard drives and caused delays in global auto production after destroying industrial estates.