Thai sources with knowledge of the country’s extensive auto supplier industry say waters around Bangkok are starting to recede following the extensive flooding of recent weeks.

Last week the same source said damage to the country’s auto sector was estimated to be around US$13bn, but news of the water’s retreat will come as great relief to suppliers, although significant challenges still remain.

“Some areas are starting to go down, right now they are starting to drain the water,” the source told just-auto from Thailand. “They are trying to drain the water to the sea.

“Automakers are trying to solve the problem – they need to find new suppliers to supply some factories that are flooded already. It might take some time for the flooded suppliers to recover.”

The Thai government declared a national five-day holiday to allow citizens and businesses time to shore up homes and factories, but Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra now believes flooding in Bangkok is unlikely to reach a critical stage she said today (1 November).

Speaking at the Flood Relief Operations Centre at the energy complex, the Prime Minister revealed the flooding situation in the city remained stable and if there were no more breached flood barriers, the situation would improve gradually after recent high tides.

She said that the run-off from the north continued to head toward Bangkok, but it would not come in an enormous amount at the same time. The Government is accelerating water drainage in both the eastern and western parts of the city, although water diversion in the western part has been quite difficult.

Residents have however, been urged to be vigilant for two periods of high tides, one between 11 November and 17 November and the other, from 25 November to 30 November.

The government has prepared an initial fund of THB80bn(US$2.6bn) to provide rehabilitation for affected individuals, small businesses, and farmers, while the banking sector will extend more than THB300 bn in credit to industrial estates.

The Prime Minister added post-flood rehabilitation could take at least three months. As for affected Japanese investors, the Government will provide “assistance,” although it is unclear what form this will take.

“Most of the automakers need to stop operations for a while as they need to replace supplies,” said the Thai source, adding also that Thailand’s position as one of the world’s largest producers of hard disk drives could see iphones and ipads affected.