Thailand calls holiday to allow escape from floods

BANGKOK - Thailand announced a five-day holiday on Tuesday to give people the chance to escape floods closing in on Bangkok as authorities ordered the evacuation of a housing estate on the outskirts of the city after a protection wall gave way.
The cabinet declared October 27-31 a holiday in Bangkok and 20 other provinces affected by the country's worst flooding in 50 years as high tides in the Gulf of Thailand this weekend could complicate efforts to divert water away from the low-lying capital.
The floods have forced the closure of seven industrial estates in Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani provinces bordering Bangkok, causing an estimated $3.2 billion in damage, disrupting supply chains and putting about 650,000 people temporarily out of work.
The cabinet announced a $7.3 billion budget on Tuesday to help those estates recover once the flooding subsidies.
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