Chopper-evac, boat rescue, emergency visit from PM Thaksin, relief supplies and sandbags, one billion baht damage, floating dead…
…for most people, these words evocate the horrible scenes of the tsunami that hit Thai shores last Christmas.
However, the scene described with these phrases happened just yesterday and today, in my city, Chiang Mai. Read the Bangkok Post article titled “Four Dead in Northern Floods”. The article describes central Chiang Mai as a “chest-deep lake”.
True, it was a heavy downpour all day long yesterday, and we got plenty of rain the weeks before too. This is the second time I’ve been through monsoon rain. I wrote a blog entry last year, titled Prison of Water. That experience was much different than this one, but it’s worth comparing.
A friend of mine called this morning, saying that she is trapped in her house, even her car can’t get through the moat that suddenly appeared at her doorstep this morning. Luckily, her house is safe, but her neighbor can’t say the same thing. They had to move up to the second floor, as the first is under water. (picture courtesy of Bangkok Post; more pictures on chiangmai-mail.com )
However, none of this is apparent from the university. The roads are dry, and people come and go as if nothing happened. Watching the everyday scene, it’s difficult to imagine that just a few blocks away people were fighting for their lives, and lost their possessions.
My place, luckily, was spared from this fate. However, ominous dark clouds are looming on the sky, as signs of more to come, despite the TAT’s effort to minimize the news impact, as seen in the article. But, that’s to be expected from them by now. After all, they were the ones declaring the South to be fit for visiting again, despite tourists complaining about the ‘warzone’ that awaited them. Anyway…
If I’ll have time, I will go and check the damaged areas and see what’s to be done, if anything, since my traveling plans are most likely to be canceled anyway. However, I can’t really complain, seeing how others lost so much more.
Sorry that I didn’t write the blog I promised earlier; this one is more timely, and of more importance.
See you all later,