Warehouses of book logistics hub in Hebei inundated
Published: Aug 01, 2023 11:59 PM
Photo: Li Hao/GT

Photo: Li Hao/GT

The warehouses of major domestic publishers and book dealers in Zhuozhou City, north China's Hebei Province have been inundated following days of unrelenting heavy rain in Beijing and Hebei, causing an estimated economic loss of over 300 million yuan ($13.9 million)., an online book store which stocks over four million books in its warehouses in Zhuozhou, said on its Sina Weibo account on Wednesday that they have suffered from the most devastating damage since the company's  inception 25 years ago. 

Staff members trapped in the warehouse have been evacuated. The water in the warehouse has risen to up to three meters, soaking 80 percent of the four million books. The economic damage is estimated to be about 300 million yuan. In addition to economic loss, the out-of-print books will vanish in the flood, according to its post, which went viral on the social media.

To the relief of the book dealer, many netizens have volunteered to help them and offered to buy damaged  books and donate money. 

"We are really touched. The readers' support has given us great confidence to tide over this difficulty patch," said the store.
Zhuozhou, about 75 kilometers southwest off Beijing, is a renowned logistics hub for the publishing  industry. It's home to the capital's largest book logistics center -- Beijing southwest logistics center, where hundreds of publishing houses and dealers stockpile their inventory. 

Due to its low-lying geography, Zhuozhou has been one of the hardest-hit areas by recent flooding. Some of the warehouses in the center have seen books soaked in the water reaching as high as two meters. Many warehouses are without power or water, and have requested emergency assistance, according to a report by the magazine China Publishers on Tuesday.

CN Time Books, a Beijing-based publisher, issued a statement to its clients on Tuesday saying the flood had wreaked havoc on its warehouse in Zhuozhou and they are not able to deal with book orders for a minimum of 15 days until further notice. 

A clerk surnamed Ran from the CN Time Books told the Global Times that nearly all of the publisher's books have been water damaged. 

"The loss is immeasurable as we can't get access to the warehouse now. We're trying to find ways to salvage the situation,"  Ran said. 

The total value of book shipments from the logistic center in 2018 was an estimated 10 billion yuan, China Publishers reported.

As of Tuesday, 11 people have been killed by heavy rains and subsequent flooding in Beijing. The capital city has stepped up its efforts in disaster relief by employing helicopters to airdrop essential supplies and transfer stranded residents. The city is also collaborating with neighboring Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province in flood control by discharging floodwaters into available reservoirs.