Typhoons impact industries in southern China

By Huang Ge Source:Global Times Published: 2016/10/24 23:28:39

Agriculture, aquaculture and tourism have been affected: experts

High waves caused by Typhoon Haima surge over the barrier in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on Friday. Photo: IC

Typhoon Haima - the 22nd typhoon to hit the country this year - barreled into southern China on Friday, further impacting an area that is suffering a great economic toll from recent storms in sectors including agriculture, aquaculture, forestry as well as tourism, experts noted Monday.

As of Monday morning, South China's Guangdong Province reported damages to around 3,400 houses and some 189,600 hectares of crops, with losses calculated at 4.18 billion yuan ($617 million), domestic portal chinanews.com reported Monday.

In East China's Fujian Province, the economic impact could reach 37 million yuan, with damage to about 200 hectares of crops, the report said.

The local government of South China's Hainan Province announced Friday that, following Typhoon Sarika, the 21st typhoon of the year, the province suffered an economic loss of 4.56 billion yuan, according to a statement posted on the government's website. Typhoon Sarika hit the island on October 18.

Industry impact

"One of the primary industries battered by typhoons in these provinces is agriculture as the weather does harm to the crops and fruits," said Ma Wenfeng, a senior analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant.

Ma told the Global Times on Monday that although typhoons bring immediate damage to agricultural products, it can be beneficial to the development of the sector from a long-term perspective because the abundant rainfall replenishes the water table which is good for the growth of crops in the future.

Other industries in South China such as forestry and aquaculture have also been largely affected, experts said.

Hit by Typhoon Sarika, Dongling Farm in Wanning, a city in southeast Hainan Province, reported a total financial loss of 35 million yuan, with 24 million yuan worth of damage to rubber trees and 11 million yuan in damage to other plants, domestic industry news portal cien.com.cn reported Saturday.

The average damage to woodland area of the farm stood at 23 percent, with devastation in the most heavily hit sections near 50 percent, said the report.

Also in Wanning, the aquaculture sector sustained damages to roughly 1,522 hectares of farming area, cien.com.cn report noted.

Travel affected

The tourism sector in typhoon-hit provinces such as Hainan, Guangdong and Fujian has also been disrupted, according to experts.

On October 17, the Hainan tourism department required the closure of all scenic spots within the province and asked local travel agencies to halt sightseeing activities, domestic news portal chinanews.com reported.

"From Thursday evening to Friday, about 90 percent of flight services in Shenzhen were canceled due to Typhoon Haima," Qi Xu, deputy CEO of Beijing-based JinlÜ Consulting, told the Global Times on Monday.

The governments in Shenzhen and Shanwei in Guangdong Province suggested that most entertainment facilities and restaurants be closed on Friday and urged 80 percent of their enterprises to shutdown, Qi said.

"One of my friends who works in a factory in Shenzhen said they were asked to stop working after 10 am on Friday," said Ma, the analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant.

The temporary shutdown of businesses did not have a large impact, he said, noting that since typhoons hit these provinces several times each year, the local governments are experienced in taking effective countermeasures to deal with the natural disasters.

Typhoon Haima also disrupted rail services in East China's Jiangxi Province, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region as well as in Guangdong Province and Fujian Province, media reports said.

A total of 85 trains, mainly traveling between Jiangxi and Fujian, were ordered to stop service between Thursday and Saturday, Xinhua reported Thursday, citing the Nanchang Railway Bureau.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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