I am happy to inform you that our worst fears concerning Bangkok have been set aside. The catastrophe was minimized by the determination of the government, the local population, and some very expert professionals who used their expertise to the full to save the people of the city. Eastern Bangkok and Western Bangkok did take the brunt of the flooding, but the International airport and Central Bangkok have been saved. Of course, this is not the final word. The situation may take another turn in a day or two, but so far things look good.
A satellite was used to determine the height and direction in which the water was flowing. Helicopters are being utilized to facilitate the mission, with the crew giving directions to the ground staff. The flood waters are rushing into the sea.
People are returning to Bangkok. I met a number of people who came by boat. No road transportation was available, they informed us.
Until now, the malls and the stores have not had any supplies. The robust economy of Thailand purchasing power of the people has been confirmed by the fact that the stores have been emptied of all consumable goods. Mind you, people here generally do not use credit, but buy with hard cash.
In the rural areas, the situation has improved, enabling Caritas Thailand to work more safely. There is a substantial amount of work to be done, and they are doing it effectively. The Diocesan offices (DISACS) are also functioning well. CRS has strengthened the staff with a specialist: an expert in Sanitation.
The Camillians have organized medical camps to help the flood victims before diseases outbreaks.
In Churches, prayers were offered for the flood victims. In addition to that, there were announcements made that goods were being sold outside the Church for the benefit of the flood victims, to include T-Shirts, flowers, fruit, plants, and other items. The goods were a little expensive, but the idea behind the sales was to raise money to obtain help for the flood relief work. This is a local contribution that Caritas Thailand may not mention, but it is worth noting.