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800,000 children caught up in Thailand floods

About 800,000 children have been caught up in some of Thailand’s worst flooding in half a century, aid workers estimate.

At least 307 people in the Southeast Asian country have been killed by floods and mudslides since late July. And 110,000 Thai people have been forced to flee their homes. "Hundreds of thousands of children are having their world turned upside down with no idea of when things might improve," said Annie Bodmer-Roy, at the charity, Save The Children. "We are deeply worried about children who may become separated from their families - we know from experience that this can be a major risk,” she told Reuters. “These children must be protected. Children face huge uncertainty and need help to get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible."

At the weekend parts of the Thai capital, Bangkok were under siege from monsoon rain, high tides and water flowing down from reservoirs in the north. But areas north of Bangkok have also been devastated. On Saturday, the government was battling to defend two industrial areas as water levels rose and hundreds of families living near the river were evacuated from their homes and sent to makeshift evacuation centres.

The Thai government has already come under fire for the way it is handling the disaster. On Friday Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra brought in a special law giving her full power over the city authorities and the army to stop power struggles in handling the floods. "All agencies have to be united where tackling the runoff is concerned, because successfully diverting the water to drain into the sea via east Bangkok would hinge on all relevant agencies moving in a concerted effort," she said on TV.

Twenty-eight of Thailand's 77 provinces and 2.46 million people are affected, with flood waters covering an area 16 times the size of Hong Kong. Meanwhile neighbouring Myanmar has suffered at least 100 deaths and Cambodia 247 because of severe flooding.

In Thailand, tens of thousands of people were forced to leave the cars in car at airports and shopping centres while some drove their cars to high up areas and parked them on bridges. Shops ran out of bottled water and instant noodles. And people started buying sacks of ice to melt into drinking water. Military helicopters ferried patients from Bangkok hospitals thought to be potential danger spots while troops battled to protect industrial zones.

Hayley attribution