Bangkok Flood Latest: Death Toll Exceeds 500 as Thousands Refuse to Evacuate

( [email protected] ) Nov 07, 2011 06:07 AM EST

Thailand’s overwhelming floods have officially caused more than 500 deaths, according to the country's interior minister. Sunday a new string of evacuations has been ordered for eight more localities in Bangkok. Twenty-five of Thailand’s 64 provinces have been overwhelmed with water, causing many of Thailand’s 65 million people to be displaced.

Bangkok’s 12 million people aren’t all affected by the water; so far the central business district is still waterless.

Despite evacuations being planned for 11 areas of Bangkok, many residents are refusing to leave, deciding instead to remain inside their homes and jobs and hope for the best.

Bangkok has not reported any deaths caused by the flood waters, but nearby Ayutthaya is reported to have 90 dead – the highest death toll for a single province.

However, the deluge is receding somewhat in Ayutthaya, so officials planned a concentrated effort to clean up the region for sometime this week.

The third month of flooding has submerged large sections of Bangkok’s drainage system, which was put in place and expanded over the past 20 years.

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, has proposed a plan that would assign 100 billion baht – or $3.3 billion – to the disaster, hopefully helping to avoid more damage and to rebuild the waterlogged areas of the country.

Although floods are usually an annual occurrence in Thailand’s wet season, officials have faced scrutiny for failing to forecast the magnitude of the catastrophe that has occurred.

The steady spread of water has surpassed expectations, making it the worst flood for the country in at least 50 years.