Bangkok subways at risk as flooodwaters inch closer

Traffic braves flood waters in the Lat Phrao shopping and business of Bangkok, Thailand on November 4, 2011.

Story highlights

  • Interior Ministry: Flooding has killed 442 people
  • It is Thailand's worst flooding in decades

Thailand's floodwaters inched toward downtown Bangkok Saturday, threatening some subway stations as leaders urged residents not to open defenses set up to divert the waters from the capital.

At least six subway stations are on the floodway, authorities said.

Residents have threatened to open the defenses to drain water from their flooded neighborhoods, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration said.

"The main problem of solving flood is no longer technical but people," Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said during the weekly radio address.

The flooding has killed 442 people, 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.

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

        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.