News

    Damage Assessments Slow to Come After Earthquake, Tidal Waves

    Economists say it is too soon to assess how badly the Asian economies have been damaged by the devastating earthquake and tidal waves that claimed at least 23,000 lives. Stock prices in Asia fell as shocked investors reacted to the disaster.

    With all efforts focused on rescuing victims and treating the injured, governments as yet have had little time to assess just how badly Sunday's earthquake and tidal waves have battered their economies.

    At the Asian Development Bank, a nonprofit lending institution based in Manila, a spokesman said Monday it would be days before economic assessments would be done. Instead, Ian Gill says, the focus is on helping the recovery.

    "We usually provide emergency rehabilitation assistance in the case of such disasters. We've done several of these in the past," he said. "What we can say is we're expected to provide this again."

    ADB officials will meet Tuesday, Mr. Gill says, to draft an aid plan.

    John Koldowski, the spokesman for the Pacific Asia Travel Association, or PATA, says there is no doubt the travel industry will be hit hard. But, he said, the damage will be uneven. In large countries, such as India, the overall effect will be modest, because only a small part of the country was hit by tidal waves, and tourist destinations elsewhere are safe.

    On the other hand, the Maldives, a tiny nation in the India Ocean made up of almost 1,200 low-lying islands, may suffer greatly from flooding. The bulk of the country's economy is based on tourism.

    Mr. Koldowski says that so far, outsiders have not been able to contact most of the country's beach resorts to determine the damage.

    Overall, he says, the industry is likely to recover within a relatively short time.

    "We believe, and we've seen in the past, that no matter what the tragedy, there is or there tends to be a positive rebound over time. To some degree that is controlled and constrained by the speed with which the normal functioning plant can get back and running," said Mr. Koldowski.

    Mr. Koldowski says that six to eight percent of Thailand's economy is based on tourism, and the island of Phuket, one of the worst hit places, is almost entirely dependent on the travel trade. Hundreds of shops, hotels and restaurants were destroyed there, in the middle of the peak season. That means Thailand's tourist industry income may fall somewhat in the coming months.

    Sunday's earthquake may have temporarily halted the recent boom the Asian travel business had seen. Airline traffic and hotel sales soared as Asia recovered from 2003, when travel plunged because of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the start of the Iraq war and fears of terrorism.

    Several Asian stock indexes lost ground on Monday in response to the disaster. Travel industry shares were among those that fell the most, some airlines and hotel companies in Singapore and Thailand saw their shares fall one percent or more.

    The full effect of the disaster will not be felt in Asian stock markets until Tuesday, however, as three major markets, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, were closed Monday for a holiday.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora