Thailand hopes flooded factories back up in 3 months

Reuters    31-Oct-2011

Bangkok, October 31: Thailand hopes industrial estates swamped in its worst floods in half a century can be up and running within three months.Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Monday, that  the centre of the capital finally appeared to have escaped a similar fate.

Nearly 400 people have been killed in months of floods, the lives of more than two million disrupted, economic growth has been set back and global supply chains for Thai-made computer and auto parts thrown into disarray.High tide is expected in next 24 hours people are tols to be alert. At present one third Thailand's land is under water.

The government is planning to spend 900 billion baht ($30 billion) on reconstruction, flood prevention and helping industry, a government minister said. But in the mean time, anger is rising in hard-hit communities just as water is in some places as it makes its way towards the sea.

Thailand is the second-largest exporter of computer hard drives and global prices are rising because of a flood-related shortage of major components used in personal computers.

Bangkok's 12 million people account for 41 percent of Thailand's gross domestic product. Yingluck said it should take three months to rehabilitate the industrial estates where some foreign investors have built regional production hubs.

The floods have destroyed 25 percent of the main rice crop in the world's largest rice exporter as they submerged four million acres (1.6 million hectares), an area roughly the size of Kuwait.

As well as a big risk of diarrhoea and mosquito-borne diseases, skin infections area a major problem and in some areas, hungry crocodiles have escaped from flooded farms and snakes searching for dry land have slithered into homes.

Yingluck assured flood victims in a Facebook message that they would be taken care of.