Torrential Thailand rainfall floods camera manufacturers

The worst floods in more than 50 years crippled the Thailand operations of some major Japanese companies, Bloomberg reports — and factories producing photography goods for Canon and Nikon were among those damaged by the deep waters in Southeast Asia.

About 280 people have died in the inundation since late July, IDG News Service reports. More than 3 million acres of farm land are underwater, and 700,000 homes are damaged or destroyed.

In Thailand’s Ayutthaya province, Canon’s inkjet printer manufacturing facility and Nikon’s biggest SLR and lens plants are among the hundreds of affected factories. Sony also halted operations at its plant for digital cameras in Ayutthaya.

Nikon reports “the first floor of all buildings at the premises are presently submerged.” The impact on  the company’s business has yet to be estimated, Nikon adds. “We are continuing to investigate details of the damage, but are unable to predict how soon operation will be resumed.”

Nikon’s inventory of SLR cameras will probably last for about a month, Bloomberg reports, and the effect on earnings would be negligible should the company resume the plant’s operation within a month.

IDG reports the severe floods also disrupted production of hard disk drives and semiconductors. Bloomberg adds the deluge forced Toyota and Honda to temporarily close three factories.

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