Central Bangkok still dry but water creeping deeper

A Thai man rides his bicycle as flood waters take over the streets in a major shopping and business district  in Bangkok.

Story highlights

  • Interior Ministry says 442 people have died
  • Thailand's prime minister asks people to come to terms with the water
  • This is Thailand's worst flooding in decades

The worst flooding in generations crept deeper into Bangkok Friday as the Thai leader asked residents to come to terms with water everywhere.

Cars looked like boats driving on roads turned to rivers. People propped their feet up on coffee tables not for rest but just to keep dry as murky water entered homes.

The flooding has claimed 442 lives, the Interior Ministry said. Of Thailand's 64 provinces, 25 have been affected.

Bangkok's central business district is still dry but other parts of the bustling metropolis of 12 million people are inundated.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told western Bangkok residents that the water was sure to linger and they must learn to cope, the MCOT news agency reported.

    Just Watched

    Thai floods hammer manufacturing sector

Thai floods hammer manufacturing sector 02:28
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    Bangkok airport surrounded by water

Bangkok airport surrounded by water 02:25
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    Conditions difficult for Thai elephants

Conditions difficult for Thai elephants 01:59
PLAY VIDEO

She said the real problem was western Bangkok, which has no infrastructure to handle the massive volumes of runoff from provinces farther north soaked by this year's heavy monsoons.

The flooding has had an enormous business impact as many factories and offices have been under water for more than a month. That includes Hi Tech Industrial Park, where Canon and Sony own assembly plants.

    Thanakit Photong, the site's safety manager, said he expected to begin pumping water out next week.

    Srisuda Khunnatham, an employee at the tech park, said she was frightened when she first saw the flooding.

    "At first I was afraid that I might be laid off, but my company reassured us," she said. "I didn't expect it would be that bad."

        Thailand's floods

      • More than 10 families share the upper floor of the building in Bangkok.

        Arriving in central Bangkok from the sparkling international airport, a visitor might not know at first glance that much of the city is under water.
      • BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 30:  People travel on a truck along a flooded streed near Chao Phraya River on October 30, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand is experiencing the worst flooding in over 50 years which has affected more than nine million people and caused the closure of hundreds of factories in the central Thai province of Ayutthaya and Nonthaburi. Over 370 people have died in flood-related incidents since late July according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.  (Photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images)

        Have you experienced the problems in Thailand? CNN and iReport want to hear your story. Share your stories, photos and video.
      • BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 30:  People commute along a flooded street near Chao Phraya River on October 30, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand is experiencing the worst flooding in over 50 years which has affected more than nine million people and caused the closure of hundreds of factories in the central Thai province of Ayutthaya and Nonthaburi. Over 370 people have died in flood-related incidents since late July according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.  (Photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images)

        Thailand's worst flooding since 1942 threatens to engulf its low-lying capital, with more than a billion cubic meters of runoff expected.
      • Thai buddhist monks walk through floodwaters in Bangkok on October 29, 2011.

        Relief agencies are warning of the risk of water- and insect-borne diseases such as diarrhea, dengue fever and malaria in the coming weeks.
      • bpr thai flooding aid cheung_00012204

        Natasha Cheung of World Vision describes the challenges of getting aid to flood victims in Thailand.
      • ex Thailand floods dog rescue_00013830

        The Phuket-based Soi Dog Foundation has rescued hundreds of dogs from the devastating floods that have swamped much of Thailand.