Floods Breach Thai Industrial Park; Factories Open
BANGKOK (AP) -- Authorities said a big industrial estate in eastern Thailand faced minor flooding Tuesday although factories were operating normally, triggering concerns the country could see a repeat of the devastation caused by record floods in 2011.
Local district chief Lersan Sasipong said floodwaters had breached Amata Nakorn industrial estate in Chonburi province, 60 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Bangkok.
He said due to heavy rains and runoffs from nearby hilly areas, about 20-30 centimeters (7-11 inches) of water had entered the park but had not affected factory operations. The park has more than 450 plants, about half of which are owned by Japanese companies.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said on Tuesday that 36 people have been killed and more than 3 million people have been affected by this year's flooding that began three weeks ago.
In 2011, Thailand suffered its worst flooding in half a century. More than 800 people were killed and 6 million hectares (14.8 million acres) of agricultural, industrial and residential lands were devastated.
Many of the country's industrial estates, which export electronic parts, auto parts and hard disk drives, were swamped, as were large parts of the Thai capital.