New York, NY (BBN) – The United Nations has enabled disaster officials in Thailand, which its facing its worst floods in more than half a century, to have more frequent access to real-time satellite images of the inundations so they can better monitor and respond to the crisis.

After a request from the Thai Government, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has arranged through a series of international partners to provide the Government with up-to-the-minute international satellite images of both flood waters and flood wave dynamics, a UN press statement said.

The partnership will also ensure long-term capacity development for disaster risk management in Thailand and ongoing regular access to relevant satellite-based data.

At least 370 people have died since the floods began in Thailand several weeks ago following unusually heavy rainfall and vast swathes of the country, including the capital, Bangkok, now lie under water.

Thailand is one of a handful of Asian countries to be hard hit by floods and heavy rains in recent weeks, with Pakistan, Cambodia and the Philippines among the other nations badly affected.

BBN/SSR/AD-30Oct11-10:50 am (BST)