Flooding in Thailand could affect hard drive supplies

Thailand is currently experiencing the worst flooding it has experienced in the last 50 years. As a result, PC makers could suffer from a shortage of hard drives for the next several months. The biggest makers of hard drives, Western Digital, has already announced that over the past weekend, " ... rising water penetrated the Bang Pa-in Industrial Park flood defenses, inundating the company's manufacturing facilities there and submerging some equipment." 

The company revealed that another manufacturing plant in that country is now being threatened with rising flood waters. As a result, Western Digital has announced that the flooding " ... will have significant impact on the company's overall operations and its ability to meet customer demand for its products in the December quarter." Digitimes says that Western Digital's Thailand plants account for 60 percent of the company's total hard drive output. Western Digital has said that all of its 37,000 employees in that country are safe.

iSuppli reports that Toshiba, the world's number four hard drive maker, has also shut down its two manufacturing plants in Thailand. Seagate, the world's number two hard drive supplier, also has plants in Thailand but according to the report they are still operational at this time. Nidec Corp, which is the number one maker of hard drive motors, may also have been affected by the flooding in that country. iSuppli claims that shortages of hard drives worldwide could happen through the end of 2011 and possibly through the first quarter of 2012.

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