Telco operators in China are counting the economic as well as the human cost of the country's recent earthquakes. A financial total of over US$1 billion is almost certain.
Accurate figures for the cost to Chinese telecoms companies of the effects of the recent earthquake can only be estimated for the time being. One sum already mentioned is a total of approximately US$1 billion, drawn from estimates by six companies: China Telecom, China Mobile, China Netcom, China Unicom, China Satcom and China Tietong.
Preliminary estimates indicate the destruction of 29,000 km of cabling, over 140,000 telegraph poles and more than 28,700 base stations. Companies have been keeping the Ministry of Industry and IT up-to-date with the catastrophe and its effects.
In this respect, the Ministry has been able to announce that communications have been restored in all towns within the hardest-hit counties in Sichuan Province. Regarding the human cost of the earthquake, eight telecom employees have been confirmed as fatalities, and no fewer than 34 as missing.
China has received substantial praise worldwide for her handling of the catastrophe, notably in the numbers of people she has been able to involve in the rescue operations and in the number of victims the teams have been able to bring to the surface.