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Decades of deforestation stripped the countryside of natural cover, and dams were allegedly mismanaged.

U.S. and other foreign companies were lured to this tropical country to profit from workers’ low wages and other cheap costs, but their modern factories and warehouses were devastated in the current floods because they are located in the Chao Phraya River Basin.

Shocked investors watched as swirling liquid drowned several sprawling, investor-friendly, low-lying “industrial parks” after breaching insufficient barriers.

The worst-affected industrial zones are 50 miles north of Bangkok where three rivers converge at Ayutthaya, which was founded in 1350 and became an opulent capital before it was abandoned in 1767 because elephant-riding troops from Burma invaded and destroyed it.

Multinationals that suspended or slowed operations due to the floods in Ayutthaya included Canon, Ford, Honda, Isuzu, Nikon, Seagate Technology, Sony, Toyota and Western Digital.

“The company now expects that the flooding of its Thailand facilities, combined with flood damage to the company’s supply chain in Thailand, will have significant impact on the company’s overall operations and its ability to meet customer demand for its products in the December quarter,” California-based Western Digital said in a statement.

“I think this is the biggest loss for Japan’s overseas investment,” Japan’s ambassador to Thailand, Seiji Kokima, was quoted as saying last week.

More than 14,000 factories have been wrecked by floods across 20 provinces, displacing more than 660,000 workers, according to the Labor Welfare Department’s director-general, Arthit Ismo.

Thailand’s main Suvarnabhumi International Airport was vulnerable because it is on Bangkok’s eastern outskirts and built on swampland.