Bangkok, one of the favourite tourist destinations of the East, is also a city that climatologists have warned for years to be sinking. Two spells of flooding this year -- including one in March, supposedly the country's dry season -- have claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed livelihoods. The death toll in this year's post-monsoon flooding, which began in late July, has exceeded 500. An area the size of Kuwait has been underwater. Food, clean water and medication are the needs of the hour, but relief workers are struggling to reach supplies to far-flung villages where disease and electrocution threaten survivors. Rising floodwaters have shut down industrial estates, threatening to hit the carmaking industry (leading Japanese automakers have plants in Thailand). Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, enduring her first grueling test since she assumed power in August, is facing the ire of the people who are threatening to break flood barricades that are keeping inner Bangkok dry while marooning surrounding suburbs.