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THAI FLOODS: Honda and Isuzu plants near Bangkok affected

By Graeme Roberts | 8 November 2011

Bangkok authorities have widened an evacuation order in the city’s northern districts and moved to protect two industrial parks near the main international airport - one home to Honda and Isuzu plants - as floodwaters encircled the Thai capital.

Water levels rose yesterday around the Bang Chan and Lad Krabang industrial zones in eastern Bangkok, industry minister Wannarat Charnnukul said, according to Bloomberg News. Lad Krabang includes the Honda and Isuzu factories.

“We won’t let them flood,” Wannarat told reporters in Bangkok. “We will do our best to give them full protection.”

Government officials gave similar guarantees last month, as floodwaters inundated seven industrial estates north of the capital, crippling global supply chains. The slow-moving pool of water edged closer to Bangkok’s central business district, reaching the northernmost station on the city’s elevated rail system and forcing fresh evacuations, Bloomberg said.

“A massive amount of water is still creeping into the city,” prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Tuesday (8 November). “It’s a catastrophe that we can’t stop all the water, but we will drain as much as we can to minimise the impact.”

Thirty of Bangkok’s 50 districts have been flooded, latest reports said.

Residents in flooded areas of Bangkok’s outskirts have sabotaged dikes protecting the inner city in the past few weeks to try to drain their neighborhoods of water, undermining government efforts to stem the water flow into the capital, Bloomberg noted. Flooding this year has affected 64 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.

Honda last week abandoned its full-year profit forecast after its car plant in the Ayutthaya region was flooded.

Factories in Ayutthaya may reopen starting 16 December as floodwaters recede and drainage efforts begin, Yingluck said after visiting the Rojana Industrial Estate on Tuesday.

“We will learn from this lesson and make sure this nightmare never happens to Thailand again,” Yingluck said.