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Thailand's worst floods in decades reach Bangkok as political fallout mounts

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Apichart Weerawong/AP

(Read caption) Flood victims ride on a military truck through a flooded street in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday. Thailand's prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra urged Bangkok's residents to get ready to move their belongings to higher ground Friday as the country's worst floods in half a century began seeping into the capital's outer districts.

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As rescue workers provide aid to rest of Thailand inundated with the worst floods in half a century, high waters have arrived in Bangkok’s northern suburbs.

Large parts of Southeast Asia including Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have been flooded for the past month. Of the nearly 700 flood-related deaths throughout the region, some 342 have occurred in Thailand, according to the government. More than half of the 77 provinces have been affected, primarily in the north.

Some 40,000 Thai Army troops have been deployed to build flood walls, set up sandbags, and help evacuations. Thai Airways and other logistics companies have been instructed to pitch in.

But, citizens are beginning to express frustration with the way the new government has handled the disaster, opening up the possibility that the floods could become a divisive political issue as different agencies begin to point fingers. The government has been vague with its predictions and information, say residents.

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