The recent earthquake has damaged fish plant facilities and led to lootings. (Photo: Stock File)
Processing plants looted post-earthquake
Wednesday, March 03, 2010, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
Power outages and communication problems in Region VIII (especially in Concepcion and Talcahuano) following the weekend earthquake have delayed the sending of information required of seafood companies by Chile's Securities and Insurance Commission (SVS) on the state of their facilities.
Initially, reports of structural damage in the processing plants of Pesquera Landes and Alimentos Marinos (Alimar) were received, whereas other companies – like Pesquera Itata and Pesquera Camanchaca – incurred minor damage.
In addition, several fish companies were victims of lootings, like Camanchaca, FoodCorp and SouthPacific Korp (SPK), which were ransacked by inhabitants of the area in search of seafood products for human consumption, informed sources of the National Fishing Society (SONAPESCA) to Diario Financiero.
In one plant alone, the theft of 200,000 boxes of fish (of 20 kilos each), computers and other objects were confirmed.
“This is a critical situation. There is industrial damage that is going to take more than six months to a year to repair, but it is not possible to begin to evaluate or repair due to the total chaos there is in the city,” said Roberto Izquierdo, partner of Alimar.
"There is total mayhem in Conception.”There is complete inertia on part of the authority in preserving public order," the executive added.
"As the factories in Talcahuano are in poor condition, it is very important that the authority loosen restrictions on seafood operations: that it be allowed to divert all the fishing of the affected zone to plants located between Coquimbo and Montt Port, using the same fishing boats as transporters,” Izquierdo continued saying.
The Alimar company, dedicated to the manufacture and export of fishmeal, is expected to delay its reconstruction for more than a year following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake.
“I do not believe that somebody can reasonably report the financial impact of the earthquake from now until Wednesday [today], which is why there is the risk of counting on only generic information on what is happening in the companies,” indicated the president of the Institute of Auditors of Chile, Jose Monsalve.
Similarly, the fuel shortage aggravates the problems of the productive sectors in the central and south zone of the country.
Although the main fuel distributors assured that there are supply problems only in the Region of Maule and Bio Bio, Diario Financiero reported that of a total of 14 petrol stations, 11 confirmed having empty tanks.
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By Analia Murias