Thailand Battles Historic Floods

By Eric Roston - 2011-11-24T06:09:22Z

Photograph by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

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Pumps drain water from the industrial zone in Ayutthaya on Nov. 17. Authorities have launched a massive operation to restart factories as quickly as possible.

Bangkok's northern metropolitan area doesn't have the same protections as the city itself. "When the water comes, it just flows into the industrial estates," said Bhichit Rattakul, Bangkok's former governor, who helped develop flood defenses in Bangkok.

The city has one of the worst exposures to flooding in the world, with $1.12 trillion in assets projected to be at risk in the next 60 years, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.