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Thailand's Disastrous, Slow-Moving Flood

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The massive body of water now surrounding Bangkok is continuing its long, destructive trip toward the ocean. The flood is the result of the heavy monsoon rains that drenched Southeast Asia four months ago, leaving Thailand and neighboring countries submerged and claiming more than 1,000 lives across the region. The waters that inundated Ayutthaya to the north of Bangkok have largely receded, but suburbs to the south and west remain under threat, with evacuation notices still being issued. Central Bangkok appears to have been spared the worst of the flooding, due in part to a protective wall of sandbags some 6 km (3.7 mi) long. Throughout the surrounding area, many thousands remain in evacuation centers, or with friends and family, waiting for the worst flooding in decades to recede. Collected here are images from Thailand over the past two weeks. (Also see previous Thailand-flood entries here: 1, 2, 3.) [41 photos]

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A Buddha head in the roots of a Bodhi tree is partially submerged by floodwaters in the ruins of Wat Mahathat temple in Thailand's ancient capital, Ayutthaya, on November 6, 2011. The floods in Thailand began in July and have devastated large parts of the central Chao Phraya river basin, killed more than 500 people and disrupted the lives of more than two million. (Reuters/Adrees Latif)
A Buddha head in the roots of a Bodhi tree is partially submerged by floodwaters in the ruins of Wat Mahathat temple in Thailand's ancient capital, Ayutthaya, on November 6, 2011. The floods in Thailand began in July and have devastated large parts of the central Chao Phraya river basin, killed more than 500 people and disrupted the lives of more than two million. (Reuters/Adrees Latif)
A Thai commando watches as villagers of the Don Muaeng district in Bangkok, Thailand, remove sand bags from barriers to ease flooding in their residential areas, on November 13, 2011. The barriers were built to hold the floodwater back from surging to inner city areas. Bangkok authorities have told more residents to leave as floodwaters threaten southwestern neighborhoods in the Thai capital. (AP Photo) #
A goal, partially submerged on a flooded football field in Bangkok's suburbs, on November 14, 2011. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
Vehicles are parked on a bridge in a flooded residential area in Bangkok's suburbs, on November 14, 2011. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
A Thai mahout rides on an elephant while holding a krathong during celebrations for the annual Loy Krathong festival in Ayutthaya province, on November 10, 2011. Believers float krathongs in rivers, canals or ponds during the festival, which is held as a symbolic apology to the goddess of the river. Ayutthaya province, the site of World Heritage-listed temples as well as five damaged industrial estates, is starting to see floodwater recede after about six weeks, allowing a clean-up to begin. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang) #
A Thai girl holds up fireworks during the annual Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, on November 10, 2011. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
Vehicles are submerged at the Honda factory in Ayutthaya province, on November 14, 2011. Clean-up work is underway at four industrial estates in Thailand's central Ayutthaya province as water has receded after devastating floods last month, and some factories are already back at work, officials said on Monday. Honda Motor Co, the hardest hit of the Japanese car firms, said it would take longer for its production to be up and running again. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
A man removes his cat from a partially submerged house in Bangkok, on November 6, 2011. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang) #
Residents staying in concrete blocks, meant to be used in the construction of an elevated train system, pass the time in a flooded area on the outskirts of Bangkok, on November 11, 2011. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang) #
A Thai boy looks from his shelter of concrete blocks, meant to be used in the construction of an elevated train system, on a flooded road on the outskirts of Bangkok, on November 9, 2011. About 30 families, all victims of the floods, have been living in the blocks since floodwaters hit their village about a month ago. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong) #
A father carries his daughter after receiving food donations from the Poh Teck Tung foundation in a flood area at Phisi Charoen district in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit) #
Local residents row their boats through the chest-high flooded streets on the outskirts of Bangkok, on November 11, 2011. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
Thai soldiers helping commuters moving through flooded area wear protection from dirty water in Bangkok, on November 10, 2011. Thai consumer confidence fell to a 10-year low in October because of flooding that has taken more than 500 lives and shut thousands of factories, with another industrial estate threatened on Thursday as water spread in the east of the capital, Bangkok. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
Thai residents climb on makeshift ladders hung from the tollway to a pedestrian overpass over a flooded road in Rangsit district on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, on November 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong) #
An aircraft sits on the flooded tarmac at the Don Muang domestic airport in Bangkok, on November 10, 2011. Don Muang Airport has been closed for weeks due to some of the worst flooding in Thailand's history. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
A man pulls a makeshift raft carrying his friends and with a Thai national flag attached as they make their way through a newly flooded neighborhood in Bangkok's suburbs, on November 11, 2011 (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra waves from a vehicle after she delivered aid to a flooded neighborhood in Bangkok, on November 13, 2011. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
Vehicles drive along flooded streets at the Lod Praow district in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #
A man uses stilts to walk through floodwaters in Bangkok, on November 9, 2011. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images) #
Local residents travel in a long tail boat against the current of floodwaters after angry villagers partially destroyed a sand bag wall in front of Don Muang Airport in Bangkok, on November 14, 2011. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
A worker keeps watch over a pump draining water from a flooded neighborhood in Bangkok, on November 12, 2011. (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom) #
Tourists and locals visit a shopping mall fortified with sandbags in Bangkok, on November 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #
Female commuters sport rubber boots while using public transport through the flooded streets of Bangkok, on November 10, 2011. (Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha) #
Mountains of trash accumulate in flood-free areas in Bangkok, on November 8, 2011. Thailand plans to hire at least 2,000 extra rubbish collectors in the capital Bangkok to tackle a mountain of trash that has piled up in inundated areas, officials said on November 9. (Joan Manuel Baliellas/AFP/Getty Images) #
A soldier plays amid water flowing over sandbags into the city near the military airport in the Don Muang airport area of Bangkok, on November 9, 2011. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang) #
A factory run by Canon sits surrounded by floodwaters at a high-tech industrial estate in Ayutthaya province, on November 8, 2011. (Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Thai man enjoys his drink -- set before him on a floating refrigerator door -- as he sits outside his house in fetid floodwaters in a neighborhood in Bangkok, on November 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #
An aerial view of debris floating in a flooded district just outside Bangkok, on November 7, 2011. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #
Thai men ride a boat next to houses damaged by floods on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, on November 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #
A man displaced by flooding receives charity food at a temple on the outskirts of Bangkok, on November 11, 2011. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
An aerial view of debris and oil slicks in floodwaters in a flooded district just outside Bangkok, on November 7, 2011. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #
Aid workers stand around floating refrigerators outside a flooded appliance store in Bangkok, on November 14, 2011. (Reuters/Kerek Wongsa) #
The eyes and nose of a tiger sculpture barely remain above the floodwaters in Bangkok, on November 7, 2011. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
A woman walks through floodwaters at the Sathira-Dhammasathan Buddhist meditation center in Bangkok, on November 4, 2011. (Reuters/Sukree Sukplang) #
Employees using an improvised float carry a car to a safer place as part of their shop's service at Bangkok Yai district in Bangkok, on November 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit) #
A man evacuated from the flooding holds onto a fence in a temporary shelter that he and his family found under a bridge in Bangkok, on November 3, 2011. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
A reporter for Korean television does a report standing in the water near the Sam Wa flood gate which local residents damaged to let floodwaters flow out of their area toward the city center in Bangkok, on November 2, 2011. Authorities in the Thai capital repaired a damaged flood gate on Wednesday that has become the focus of anger, fear and rivalry between arms of government battling the country's worst floods in decades. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
A homeless man stands under the bridge where he lives in flooded area in central Bangkok, on November 10, 2011. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
A man pulls an inflatable canoe carrying a young woman through floodwaters in the Mo Chit area in Bangkok, on November 9, 2011. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
Animals jump over water in the partially flooded Safari World wildlife park in Bangkok, on November 2, 2011. Almost half of the Safari World was flooded overnight but all animals were taken to higher ground. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
A policeman directs the traffic as the floods advance onto a major intersection in Bangkok November 4, 2011. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #

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