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Thai floods: mystery activity

November 2011

The floods in Bangkok and Thailand, 2011

Thai floods: mystery activity

Simon Scoones, an IB teacher based in Bangkok, has kindly provided a mystery activity he created, along with some useful article and video links that can be used alongside it when teaching about the floods.

The mystery (download from the bottom of the page) was originally designed for the Freshwater IB Geography option, and specifically the bit that reads: "Discuss the causes and consequences of a specific river flood".

The activity is based on what has happened north of Bangkok.

Context for the activity and the floods

The flood waters which have now reached Bangkok have been described as the worst flood potentially since 1942 when the whole city was underwater for two months.

Video: YouTube video of the Bangkok 1942 floods
The YouTube video (7mins 44) shows footage recorded in Bangkok during the 1942 floods, so can be used to illustrate the floods then compared to now.
[NB. The video narration is in Thai]

Article: As Thailand Floods Spread, Experts Blame Officials, Not Rains New York Times 13/11/10
Experts are blaming deforestation, urban sprawl and bad planning for turning an unusually heavy monsoon season into a disaster.

Images: Worst Flooding in Decades Swamps Thailand. The Atlantic 12/10/11
Heavy monsoon rains have been drenching Southeast Asia since mid-July, causing mudslides and widespread flooding along the Mekong River. Parts of Thailand are now experiencing the worst floods in half a century, as water inundates villages, historic temples, farms, and factories.

Graphic: Created 14/10/11 showing the expected area of flooding around Bangkok and the expected flow of water.

Article: Asia pays watery price for overdevelopment. Asian correspondent.com 25/10/11
As millions of urbanites living a modern lifestyle fear that torrents of floodwater will rage through Thailand's capital, some in enclaves of a bygone era watch the rising waters with hardly a worry - they live in old-fashioned houses perched on stilts with boats rather than cars parked outside.

Images: Flood Photos: Water Submerges Thai Towns, Temples, Elephants. National Geographic Ancient Buddhist temples, whole streets, and even an elephant have been submerged by waters in the country's worst floods in half a century.

Article: Lessons from floods: What's missing from textbooks? The Nation 24/10/11

Video: YouTube video cartoon explaining the cause of the floods
The YouTube video (lasting 4mins58) is great at explaining about the floods, why they have occurred, the impacts they are having, as well as explaining about what is being done to solve the problem and how long the floods may last. [NB the narration is in Thai, with English subtitles so the video can be used without sound]

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