CHENGDU, China (8/7/08)--A credit union--now operating from a tent in the earthquake stricken Sichuan Province of China--says the May 12 earthquake has had surprising financial consequences, both for the credit union and the people there. Xu Yongjun, an employee of the credit union, which was not identified by name, reported that its savings has gone up by $1.5 million since the May 12 earthquake struck the region and left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing (National Public Radio Aug. 6). Xu Yongjun told NPR that savings rose because people no longer have houses in which to hide their money. He expressed confidence that China's economy would bounce back to the way it was before May 12, but estimated it would take five years "if things are good," and 10 years, if they are bad. The earthquake, which registered 8.0 on the Richter scale, caused economic losses of $150 billion, NPR said. Many people are living in tent cities until they move into new prefabricated buildings. But many have a can-do attitude and already have started microbusinesses from the tents. Examples include a tent supermarket, drink shops, hot pot restaurants, lawyers' offices and accessories stores. Since May 12, the region has felt 12,600 aftershocks, seven of them above 6.0 on the Richter scale (afp.google.com Aug. 6). The latest one, registering 6.0, was Tuesday.