Quake Destroyed About 216,000 Structures In Sichuan

The huge earthquake that radiated destruction from its epicentre in southeastern China on Monday will lead to further consolidation in a fragmented property sector, analysts predict, as safety concerns become paramount.

The worst tremor to hit the mainland in three decades toppled schools and crumpled homes, with death toll estimates as high as 50,000.

As investigators begin looking into claims that shoddy construction may have contributed to the high death toll, analysts say some smaller property firms might be forced to shut down.

“The earthquake will likely raise awareness of safety and accelerate the housing upgrade .” Tong Tsang of Citigroup Global Markets, said in a research note.

China’s property development companies are estimated to number more than 20,000, most provincial or local in scale, which have developed rapidly over the past two decades of rapid economic growth.

“Many of the smaller developers will be driven out,” said Ashley Howlett, a partner with law firm Jones Day, who heads the Greater China construction practice.

The quake destroyed some 216,000 structures in Sichuan, the epicentre of the quake, including 6,898 school buildings counted as of Wednesday, Xinhua said.

Most large property developers focus on profit-making commercial buildings such as residential estates and office builders, and leave public projects for schools and government buildings to others.

One Comment

  1. Posted June 16, 2008 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    China is on precautionary alert against radiation leaks after Monday’s massive earthquake.

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    The official death toll currently stands at around 22,000, of which 21,577 were in Sichuan, but it is expected to exceed 50,000.

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