Thailand flood update

Nikon doesn't expect the impact of the floods in Thailand to be excessive because the factories in Thailand are covered by insurance - from the latest Nikon Q&A:

At present, facilities are still submerged and we are unable to obtain an accurate damage bill and as a result, extraordinary losses resulting from damage caused by the floods in Thailand have not been included in these forecasts. Thorough survey of the damages will commence once the water has receded. Further, the facilities are covered by insurance therefore we do not expect the impact will be excessive.

Here are some images from Rojana Industrial Park where the Nikon facilities are located - water is being pumped out of the park with generators:


The water levels continued to drop this week but are still above 2 meters in many areas of the industrial park:

For comparison, here are the water levels from the past few weeks:

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  • d70

    Glad things are looking a bit better.

    • derWalter


    • Andrew

      It is also good to know that Nikon planned for the worst by insuring their factory. I was surprised to learn that there are about 150 Japanese companies in the park; that is a lot of companies in one location from a single country.

  • I’ve done a quick excel sheet. If the water continues to drop at the current (linear) rate, it will take another 50 to 70 days until it is gone completely…

    • SF

      and you needed an excel sheet to work that out?!

    • Andrew

      Pretty good result. I got 57 days based upon the following assumption:

      1. Water level dropped 0.4 meters the first 15 days to a height of 2.47 meters.
      2. Water level dropped 0.27 meters the next 7 days to a height of 2.2 meters.
      3. How many more days will it take the water level to drop to 0.0 meters.

      Let us assume that during the last 7 days, the rate at which the water level drops remain constant:

      1. So the last 7 days, the water level drops (2.47 m – 2.2 m) 0.27 meters.
      2. It is dropping at a rate of (0.27 m/7 days) = 0.038571 meters per day.
      3. So in x days, it should drop the remaining height of 2.2 meters.

      Find x?

      1. x days multiplied by a rate of 0.038571 meters per day is equal to a height of 2.2 meters.
      2. So mathematically, x (0.038471) = 2.2
      3. So x = 2.2/0.038471 = 57.0 days

      I typed it in an Excel spreadsheet so as to minimize errors in my reasoning and in the calculation.

  • T.I.M

    Better buy your cheap DSLR now because stock won’t last long.

    Any idea for a cheap nice little camera for kids with fixed lens ?

    What about the Vivitar ViviCam 5024 ? Anyone experimented that one ?

    • fred

      Check out the horrible reviews on Amazon, then head over to…

  • Robin

    Enough already, this is now resembling some reality show like coverage. Shit happens everywhere, and my sympathies are with those people who are suffering. But the factories will be up when they will be, Nikon giving detailed intricate progress report will not expedite the recovery. Nor, will it deter people in need to switch to other technologies, however it will only increase the torture of waiting, and waiting, and waiting. I wonder how many times Kim Kardiwhateversan will get married and divorced before we see a new Nikon FX release.

    • TaoTeJared

      Based on BurnumBurnum above and Nikon’s expectations of being up to speed in April;

      that would 2.1 Kardashian weddings before we see a new Nikon.

    • T.I.M

      Who is Kim Kardiwhateversan ? A photographer ?

      • Robin

        I don’t know what she is butt:

        If she was a photographer, she wont need a tripod. With little practice I think she can use one of several bean bags she has front and rear.

        Hey if she had a D90 she would solve the video jiggle problem with a counter wiggle.

        • I shoot Nikon


          Let’s not forget that the main reason she doesn’t use tripods is because she keeps knocking them over anytime she tries to look through the viewfinder.

    • blah

      Luckily, I can still cover the wedding with my F5 and some Portra 400.

  • Anonymous

    Darn… those pumps reminded me of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. My best wishes to all those suffering. I believe we all can survive few months without a new Nikon FX camera, but the suffering faced by the flood victims during these few months will be much worse (really beyond comparison) than our pain waiting for a new camera. God darn it… where has humanity gone?

  • teee

    start at 2:27 is Rojana Industrial Park

    • D800 finally seen

      At 2:48 on the news clip there is a guy walking with a D800 that he just picked from the flood waters. Ah finally thanks to the floods we know what the D800 look like.

  • Poor Thai Peolpe, the great companys will survive, the Thai children and old people will suffer a lot, sad!

    Hey Nikon what about open a plant in Paraguay? hehehheh cheers!

  • Dweeb

    Financial hooey from Nikon. Lost sales + the inability to instantly replace custom production equipment. But then Nikon are our friend that always promptly inform us about the facts on everything aren’t they? Start thinking Photokina 2012.

    • fred

      Indeed. The notion that insurance on the factory will cover Nikon’s business losses is ridiculous. We live in an era of scarce resources.

      • Richard



        While the insurance coverage helps protect the company’s bottom line, which is a lot better than uncovered losses, there is still the matter of the market. I suppose that it could be argued that when product does hit the shelves again there will be a pent up demand which will be good for sales, but there is also the possibility that Nikon customers or potential customers may look elsewhere to meet their needs and not come back or consider Nikon in the future.

        There are any number of professionals who are concerned about availability of product when they need it and may have to choose another platform to meet their needs if Nikon can not provide them what they need. NPS had better be on the ball or it could get very ugly.

        One certainly has to hope that Nikon comes back with fresh new products without a bunch of bugs to tarnish their introduction.


        • On other brands

          On the Thai Flood Update video it clearly says Sony and Canon are submerged (odd thing is that it doesn’t even mention Nikon & yet its posted on a NikonRumors site). So much about Nikon customers or potential customers looking elsewhere.

  • Nobody Special

    Can’t say for sure whether the factories location(s) are on a floodplain,,,,,but,,,,,if business is business, there is probably a good chance that in a country like Thailand where heavy rains are somewhat the norm this may have been fore-seen.

    Even given the nature of the record floods, if attracting businesses into a country means bargain deals on land then it hardly is worth the chance for lost production and lost jobs.

  • Up $#!t’s creek!

    It just means they can offset their losses from sales. Doesnt mean they are getting us cameras quicker

  • Ouch, I feel bad for these companies, such big losses here.

  • I just decided to pick up the D3s, . . . I can use that for a few years and wait for the next round of FF bodies

  • photdog

    Nature catastrophes are bad wherever they hit. But worse is, that those in charge never seem to take precaution. Every cleaning woman put around more “Caution” signs than buckets of water. But in the top level preparing an accordingly infrastructures is more than rare. Be sure, their mansion won’t be flooded or blown away by a storm nor crash on an earthquake. The only thing they cannot prevent is a tsunami or radiation like from Fukushima.
    Nikon and the other companies might get refund from their insurances for the loss of property. But I wonder if they also could get insured for the losses of delayed developments and launches and certainly not against impatient customers

  • PDubs

    I wonder if this whole mess will affect nikon’s policy on not replacing/repairing corroded equipment

  • The invisible man
  • Stanley77

    Looks like fishin is what I would do. Keep the 5100, throw back the 3100, not sportn too little needs fin ware update.

  • The line of pumps is kind of amazing, lots of little ones. It looks like bailing out an ocean liner with a tin can. I would not be surprised to see a new DX body announced when production resumes.

    The greatest impact of the flood is on hard drive production. It is said the large PC builders have barely enough to make it through Christmas and will experience severe shortages at the start of next year.

    Als owe have the Sony sensor factor, which is a bit of an unknown right now.

    • Richard


      I guess they are doing the best they can with the little pumps, but I wonder if a few carefully placed explosive charges breeching the embankment might not do the job quicker. They could worry about repairing the breeches later…along with an upgraded system to withstand higher water levels.

      Yea, hard drives are a problem. Prices have already gone waaaay up. The HD manufacturers say that they are redeploying work to other facilities, but the fly in the ointment is a company in the flooded area that provides 70% of the worldwide production of spindle motors. Talk about too many eggs in one basket! The OEMs are going to be squeezed very hard on pricing of the PCs they sell because of the HD problems. There has been speculation that it will September ’12 before things really catch up to pre-flood levels of inventory. This has been a hard lesson in diversification of sources for all concerned. I question whether the lesson will take though.

      Gosh, I certainly hope that Nikon just forgets about resuming production of the existing models, which were scheduled to be phased out, and brings out some new DX bodies. One of the major problems is going to be sensor production though. I hope that they have been able to source sensor production elsewhere in anticipation of production resuming. I just don’t think Sony is going to be able to get their Thai plant up to capacity as quickly as Nikon is going to be able to get everything else ready to go, but time will tell. It would be very nice indeed if there were an 18 MP DX sensor that was about 1 1/2 to 2 stops better than the D7k sensor on noise with a bigger buffer and state-of-the-art processing capability.


  • Jim

    Their insurance rates will increase because of the claims. My insurance company told me to call a roofer first to verify I had significant hail damage before making a claim – otherwise if I made the claim they would increase the rates regardless even if there was not that much damage.

    • Davix

      Lol you think that Nikon insurers ignore the damages their factory sustained in Thailand? Their premium IS already under review..anyway this is a major incident they might be able to have this one out of the stats. I don’t worry.

      I am more worrying on when the situation will come back to normal..

  • Mock Kenwell

    With all due respect to the hard-working Thai people, looking at the devastation, it’s hard to believe no one knew this was a possibility in a place so prone to massive rain. Geographically speaking, what a stupid place to build your business.

    • Any spot on earth is prone to some natural disaster or another. How long has Nikon had a factory here? How many times has it been flooded out? You don’t get 500-year floods every year even in Thailand. Sometimes all you can do is clean up and get back to work.

      • Magnus

        According to my sources in Thailand (whom I visited during the last two weeks – sadly without finding any Nikon products floating by), this area is affected by flooding every 50 year or so…

  • As a pump engineer, those pumps appear to be woefully undersized for emergency dewatering…

  • bob

    “water is being pumped out of the park with generators”

    They are not generators. They just engines turning pumps. Geez, how did you get that wrong?

  • Yesterday I took few pics near the factory in Thailand. You can see them here:

    or on my site:

  • Richard

    The Atlantic has a photo story of the flooding in Thailand (via Rob Galbraith’s site).

    It does not loo like the flood waters will recede to a significant degree any time soon.

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