Bangkok residents are preparing for inundation as as the country’s worst floods in half a century threaten the capital’s outer districts.

The Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has warned residents they will need to move to higher ground as the flood waters continue to rise.

Water has already seeped into houses in Bangkok’s northern Lak Si district, near the Prapa canal.

PM Shinawatra told reporters the Prapa canal was a significant worry concern as the water had risen overnight. Runoff from floods in the north is expected to swell it further.

“I would like to ask people in all districts of Bangkok to get ready to move their belongings to higher ground as a precaution,”

He stressed that people should not panic.

 Up until now, two metre high walls of sandbags and floodgates have protected the city but these might not withstand the immense pressure of the surging floodwaters.

Yesterday the government was forced to open some of the floodgates to ease pressure to try and protect Bangkok’s main business district which so far has not been affected.

The floods have claimed 340 lives and covered a third of the country under water.