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Floods breach Thai industrial park; factories open

October 9, 2013

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities said floodwaters were threatening a large industrial estate southeast of Bangkok, although factories there were still operating normally.

Local district chief Lersan Sasipong said Tuesday that floods had breached Amata Nakorn industrial estate in Chonburi province, 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital.

He blamed heavy rains and runoffs from nearby hilly areas, and said 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. It was not affected during widespread flooding in 2011 that devastated much of the country, leaving more than 800 people dead and 6 million hectares (14.8 million acres) of agricultural, industrial and residential lands affected.

Many of the country’s industrial estates, which export electronic parts, auto parts and hard disk drives, were swamped in the 2011 floods, as were large parts of the Thai capital.

Floods are an annual occurrence. This year, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department says flooding has killed 36 people in the last three weeks and hit at least 32 out of 77 provinces.

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