Environment: Rescuing a Sinking City

Lashed by monsoon rains, sodden Bangkok slowly goes under

Two people are shot when a group of desperate families raids a flood-control embankment. The wounded raiders are seeking to drain the water from their suburban Bangkok district; the gunman is protecting his dryer neighborhood. Elsewhere in the sodden Thai city, slumdwellers stage boat races in water fouled with raw sewage, and medical teams distribute antityphoid vaccine and foot-fungus ointment. It is monsoon season in Southeast Asia, and as this year's rains have made all too obvious, Bangkok (pop. 5.5 million) is slowly sinking.

The...

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