15 May 2008 13:55 [Source: ICIS news]
(Releads and updates throughout)
By Cheang Chee Yew
Chinese and Chinese companies operating in
More than 50,000 people may have been killed in Monday’s devastating earthquake in
The official death toll was around 19,500 but this could rise sharply, according to official state news agency Xinhua.
In addition to those confirmed dead, 25,788 people remain buried and a further 14,051 were still missing, it said.
A massive search and rescue operation was still underway, with more than 60,000 now rescued in
Damaged transport links have hampered relief efforts but
The government has agreed to help from
Meanwhile, 37,700 tents and 50,000 cotton quilts have been transported to quake-hit areas and a chartered cargo flight carrying about 110 tonnes of relief goods was due to arrive at
There were also fears of a spike in food prices as existing rice supply problems may now become worse, local official sources said.
Houses, schools, hospitals and factories were razed to the ground in the worst affected areas. The earthquake also damaged 391 dams, which were currently being inspected.
Three major dams in
The province's chemicals industry has been hit hard by the disaster, which has led to major production and logistics problems. It was also affecting the markets.
Two fertilizer plants collapsed on Monday and numerous shutdowns have been reported.
Its subsidiary Nanchong refinery has restarted its crude distillation unit (CDU) and some other units producing solvent oil, baseoils and paraffin would resume soon, a company source said.
On Thursday, three dimethyl ether (DME) producers said they had resumed normal production but were still being affected by logistics problems.
A rally in methanol prices was also being exacerbated by the quake because of supply problems, buyers and sellers said on Thursday.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.55% to close at 3,637.32 points on Thursday. The exchange has lifted the suspension in share trading of 32 of 45 companies affected by the earthquake.
($1 = CNY7.00)
Have you personally or your business been impacted by the earthquake in
With additional reporting by Gabriela Wheeler, Ng Hun Wei, Chow Bee Lin, Prema Viswanathan, Helen Lee, Peh Soo Hwee, Anu Agarwal, Hong Chou Hui and Bohan Loh
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