Some 40,000 Thai Army troops have been deployed to build flood walls, set up sandbags, and help evacuations, but citizens are beginning to express frustration with the government response.
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.
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.
An editorial cartoon published in local English-language newspaper The Nation suggested that the floods meant the end of Thailand's honeymoon with Prime Minister Shinawatra, who has been criticized for wearing expensive Burberry boots to visit flood victims.