Thailand’s Ancient Capital Damaged by Floods

Posted on November 30, 2011

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Ayutthaya, one of Thailand’s most famous historical cities, has suffered 10′ of rainfall in recent weeks. It is estimated that over half the monasteries, fortresses, and other monuments will have damage when the floodwaters recede.

The waterside city experiences some flooding every monsoon season, but experts say urban planners must make drastic changes to the layout to prevent future damage to historical sites. Anek Sihamat, deputy director-general of Thailand’s Fine Arts Department, suggested digging up old canals and curbing urban sprawl that blocks the natural runoff of water.

The great city of Ayutthaya was once the great capital of Thailand until 1767 when the Burmese forced the relocation of the capital to Bangkok. Ayutthaya, built on the convergence of three rivers with annual flooding, contains a canal network measuring more than 85 miles. The citizens lived in stilt-raised houses, using boats for transportation. Experts are ready to inspect the damages from the recent flooding in the coming weeks and determine the best plan of action to restore and protect the city.

This season’s flooding has resulted in hundreds of documented deaths in Thailand’s northern highlands.

Read Thailand Floods 2011: Ancient Capital Damaged.

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