Wednesday 25 April 2018

Children in danger from crocodiles and snakes in Bangkok floodwater – charity warns

Jessica Winch

A CHARITY has warned that children are in danger of attack following reports of crocodiles and snakes lurking in the floodwater that is threatening Bangkok.

Save the Children said children were also at risk from water-borne diseases as many in Thailand have been left without access to running water or clean toilets.

Annie Bodmer-Roy, a Thailand-based spokeswoman for the charity, said: "We are hearing disturbing reports of dangerous animals such as snakes and crocodiles appearing in the floodwaters, and every day we see children playing in the water, bathing or wading through it trying to make their way to dry ground.

"The water is filthy, and there is a very real risk of water-borne or communicable diseases such as diarrhoea and skin infections taking hold if families can't maintain basic standards of hygiene."

Thailand is facing its worst flooding in half a century. Heavy monsoon rain has killed more than 350 people and caused flash floods, mudslides and widespread disruption.

Save the Children estimates 800,000 children have been directly affected.

Tens of thousands of people fled Bangkok this week ahead of a high tide which is expected to worsen floods in the city over the weekend.

There are fears the Chao Phraya River will burst its banks as high tides block the run-off from the north.

Seven districts in the north of the city are already heavily flooded.

The Government of Thailand announced a five-day public holiday yesterday to allow people to leave the city.

Tourists have been advised against all but essential travel to Bangkok and the 26 provinces in Thailand affected by flooding.

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