Thailand has bolstered flood defences at Bangkok's main airport and other areas as it works to shield the city of 12 million people from the worst inundation in decades, officials said Tuesday. United Nations officials say the capitals of Thailand and Cambodia are at risk as the worst flooding in modern times sweeps through the Mekong Basin.

Major rice importers here are raising the prices of 10 popular premium brands - from as early as next week - because of developments in Thailand. More than 260 people have died in Thailand in monsoon flooding, and people living in Bangkok's north and east are preparing for a massive volume of water flowing towards the sea.

“We have to admit that we are in crisis,” Kittiratt told reporters in Bangkok today. “Everybody must be prepared and can’t be complacent. You should prepare what you will do and where you will be.”

Flood protection walls have been raised to a height of up to 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) at Suvarnabhumi, the country's main air hub, Airports of Thailand (AOT) acting director Somchai Sawasdipol told AFP. Mildren said the waters are also continuing to rise in Cambodia, where Phnom Penh is threatened.

According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association, the price of premium Thai grain, a global benchmark, has jumped from US$988 (S$1,260) to US$1,130 per tonne in the past six months. About 1.38 million hectares of farmland are under water - about 13 times the size of Hong Kong. More then 700,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged.

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