Earthquake and flood damage16 August 2008
While it is too early to know the full effects of the massive earthquake that hit China, according to Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, even the province of Guangdong, well outside the stricken area, is affected.
The cities of Guangzhou and Dongguan, both well known as major footwear production centres, are in the province.
Eddie Lam Kwong-tak, a shoe exporter with about 40,000 workers mainly in Guangdong and Shanghai, said many Sichuan migrant workers were so worried about their family members that they could not concentrate on work, which meant a loss of productivity. He added that the quake, which destroyed highways and infrastructure, would probably discourage Hong Kong producers from moving their factories from Guangdong to inland regions such as Sichuan. China has also suffered substantial flooding and damage has been especially heavy in southern Guangdong province, home to much of the tanning and shoe manufacturing industry. Nearly 240,000 Guangdong residents were shifted to safer ground, including 60,000 in Shenzhen. Officials estimated that economic damage from the floods across Guangdong had reached US$540 million, much of it to farms and fisheries. Rains have also pounded northwest China, killing two people in Longnan, a region in Gansu province, where hundreds died in the previous month's earthquake. Flooding was also reported in Jiangxi province and Guangxi, neighbouring Guangdong.