Flash Floods and Other Flooding in the Region..
These are reports from Channel News Asia, the main news agency from Singapore. They are all events that happened today, just to give you an idea of what is going on in Southeast Asia that isn't necessarily the top news stories at home.
Flash floods hit several areas around Singapore
SINGAPORE: Flash floods hit several roads in Singapore, with heavy rain falling over many areas on Friday afternoon.
One of the affected roads was in the Upper Serangoon area - after PIE exit, next to the Woodsville flyover - where two lanes became impassable to traffic. According to national water agency PUB, flash floods also hit Woodlands Road near the Kranji Expressway (KJE) slip road; the Little India area (Norris Road, Kampong Kapor, Owen Road); Ang Mo Kio Ave 5; and the junction of Jalan Pemimpin and Bishan Street 21.
The flash floods subsided within 15 minutes in most areas, except at Upper Serangoon Road where there are ongoing roadworks near the Woodsville flyover. Floods at Upper Serangoon Road took more than an hour to subside, and PUB is investigating the cause. In Little India, PUB has an ongoing drainage improvement project to alleviate flooding in that area. The project is expected to complete in first quarter of 2013.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said to expect light rain till 7pm Friday in various parts of Singapore. Showers with thunder in the afternoon are also expected over the next three days.
Thai floodwaters spill into northern Bangkok
BANGKOK - Millions of nervous Bangkok residents were warned Friday to move their belongings to safety as the kingdom's worst floods in decades began pouring into the northern outskirts of the sprawling city.
In a desperate attempt to drain the mass of muddy water, the authorities have opened all of Bangkok's sluice gates to allow the floods to flow through canals and rivers in the low-lying capital and into the Gulf of Thailand. The move should ease pressure on vulnerable flood barriers on the northern edge of the city of 12 million people, but increases the threat to Bangkok itself, where some outlying residential areas were inundated on Friday.
People were advised to move their possessions to higher floors or safe areas after the government admitted the sea of water bearing down on the capital from the central plains was unstoppable. "I ask all Bangkok residents to move your belongings to higher ground as a precaution, but they should not panic. It's preparation," said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who has described the crisis as "overwhelming".
Three months of heavy monsoon rains have killed at least 342 people in Thailand and damaged the homes and livelihoods of millions of others, mostly in the north and centre.
Tens of thousands of people have been forced to seek refuge in shelters, including 33-year-old Nonglak Yodnankham who fled the approaching water in Pathumthani province just north of Bangkok. "The flood was following behind us when we ran away. Within five minutes, it was already up to my waist," she told AFP at an emergency shelter at Bangkok's number two airport, Don Mueang.
The waters were already seeping into the capital too, leaving little doubt that large areas of the metropolis would be inundated. The only uncertainty was how deep the floods would be and whether the city centre would be hit. Water up to 70 centimetres deep submerged roads and houses elsewhere in Don Mueang district while more than 2,000 homes were flooded in neighbouring Lak Si, about 15 kilometres from the city centre. "The water level keeps rising," Don Mueang district chief Phumpat Damrongkiatisak said, adding that the floods already covered several square kilometres in his area alone.
The authorities reassured residents they had evacuation plans ready if necessary.
Flash flood in Myanmar leaves dozens missing
YANGON: A flash flood in central Myanmar on Friday left dozens of people missing as homes along a river bank were swept away, government officials in the military-dominated country said.
"About 60 people are missing so far because of the flood" in Pakokku township, an official who did not want to be named told AFP.
"Some houses and a monastery along the river bank were swept away and a bridge was destroyed as the water rose up," he said. There were no confirmed reports of deaths, a second official said.
A monk in Pakokku said the water was believed to have risen to about three metres (10 feet) high.
"Some people, animals, houses and a monastery were swept away when the water rose up. The water level is back to normal now," he said. "We had torrential rain in previous days." State media reported roads, bridges and buildings were damaged because of strong winds and heavy rains in some parts of the country.
Southeast Asia has been battered by particularly severe monsoon rains this year. According to the United Nations, more than 700 people have been killed across Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines, and eight million have been affected. Thailand has been particularly severely hit, with more than 300 people dead and Bangkok on alert for flooding.