Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday urged Bangkok dwellers to move their belongings to safe locations in preparation for imminent flooding in the capital areas, Mass Communication of Thailand reported, according to Xinhua.
"People in all areas of Bangkok should prepare to move their possessions to cope with the situation," MCOT quoted Yingluck as saying.
A total of 342 people were confirmed dead and two others are missing in the floods that have inundated the upper part of the country for almost three months.
The floods are the worst in at least five decades. It is estimated that water will flow into the Bangkok city area Friday night and the government is trying to channel it out to the sea through the eastern and western outskirts of the capital.
Yingluck said that the government`s Flood Relief Operations Centre (FROC) initially designated domestic Don Mueang and international Suvarnabhumi airports as temporary shelters for possible evacuation. More shelters will be designated once the government assesses the water level.
In case the Bangkok Metropolitan Authorities are unable to cope with the situation, the government`s flood relief center will manage the situation itself, she said, adding that any help from City Hall is welcome as the country needs full cooperation from all parties to weather the crisis. The prime minister announced on Thursday that the government would open Bangkok`s sluice gates to allow the deluge from the North to drain through canals in Bangkok into the Gulf of Thailand.
The move sent jitters among Bangkokians and those living in surrounding areas. Throngs of cars could be seen double or even triple parking along expressways.