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The China Floods of 1931

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Rebecca Gamache

on 25 April 2013

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Transcript of The China Floods of 1931

The China
Floods of 1931 Known as the mother river by
all the Chinese people
About 3,395 miles long
Yellow River is the second longest river in China after the Yangtze River
It runs through nine provinces and autonomous regions on its way to the Bohai Sea. River in east-central China
that drains the plain between the
Yangtze River and the Yellow River.
About 660 miles long, fed by numerous tributary streams.
Huai River is about mid-way between Yellow River and the Yangzi River. Like them it runs from west to east.
However, it does not run all the way out to the sea. This makes it very venerable to flooding. The Yellow River The Yangtze River The Huai River August 18, 1931 What Happened? The Yangtze, Yellow, and Huai Rivers in China flooded and killed nearly 3.7 million people directly and indirectly over the course of a few months. Runs through Southern China
Southern China is one of the most populated areas on Earth
The majority of the people depend on the river water for personal and farming needs http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/yangtze-river-peaks-in-china The rivers flooded a 500 square mile area. Meanwhile, the rising waters forced about 500,000 people from their homes in the beginning of August. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1503369/Yangtze-River-floods http://history.cultural-china.com/en/34H7420H12519.html The Circumstances The Yellow River has historically been considered the "Cradle of Chinese Civilization".
Major floods in this river generally have catastrophic agricultural, economic and social impact.
The Yellow River flood occurred between July and November 1931.
Estimates of the number of people killed in the flood generally range from 1 to 2 million.
Figures have shown about one million people died of drowning.The river completely inundated 20,000,000 acres. The Yellow River The Yangtze River The worst period was from July to August.
In July alone, four weather stations along the Yangtze River reported rain totaling over 2 ft for the month.
The casualties of the Yangtze River overflow region reached 145,000 and affected 28.5 million. The Huai River The Yangtze along with the Huai River flood reached Nanjing city, capital of China at the time, an island in a massive flood zone.
Some of the areas affected included Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Hankou, Wuhan, Hanyang, Chongqing.
The high watermark was reached on August 19 at Hankou with the level exceeding 53 ft above normal.
On the evening of August 25 the water through the Grand Canal washed away dikes near Gaoyou lake.
Some 200,000 people drowned in their sleep Wives and daughters were sold, and local residents reported infanticide and cannibalism in stark details to the government. Millions died of drowning or from diseases such as cholera and typhus. What is a Cyclone? A system of winds rotating inward to an area of low atmospheric pressure, with a counterclockwise (northern hemisphere) or clockwise (southern hemisphere) circulation; a depression. From 1928 to 1930 a long drought preceded the flood. By some accounts abnormal weather over central China began in the winter of late 1930.
Heavy snowstorms in the winter were followed by spring thaw/defrost heavy rains that raised the river levels even higher.
The Rain increased into July and August 1931. In July alone seven cyclones hit the region.
On average two occur per year. Future Flood Prevention China has been frequently hit by big floods and suffered from flood disasters.
The critical issue is that about 8% of the middle and down stream of the seven major rivers are prone to floods, where is inhabited 50% of total population and contributes over 2/3 of total agricultural and industrial product value.
Flood control and management of the said areas are of vital importance of China in its social and economic development. On the upper and middle stream of Yellow River 173 large and medium sized reservoirs were built With regard to river regulation, 5000 bank protection works totaling 585 km in length were built for controlling the flood. The middle and down stream of Yangtze are protected by levee system with the length of 45 thousand kilometers. Demographics Flooding on the Yangtze River has caused at least $24 billion worth of damage.
The disaster has claimed between 2,000 and 4,000 lives so far and has affected more than 240 million people - one-fifth of the country's population.
Over 14 million people have been evacuated, 17 million homes destroyed and 53 million acres of farmland flooded. Flooding of China's central river valleys is a periodic phenomenon.
When China was the property of warring feudal lords, it was not uncommon for floods to kill hundreds of thousands.
1931- claimed 200,000 lives.
1887- was even worse. It killed an estimated seven million people. By 2009, when China completes the Three Gorges Dam, it will be the biggest engineering feat in the world.
It will stand 600 feet tall and 1.4 miles long. Behind it, the waters of the Chang River - a tributary of the Yangtze - will form a reservoir 400 miles long, covering an area as large as Los Angeles.

Some 140 cities and villages and 80,000 acres of farm land will be submerged.
Over 1.3 million residents of the area, along with much industrial equipment, will be relocated to new cities being planned and built for them. Human Interest Story Zhang Chu
Trapped in his own home as the flood waters began to rise.
Lived on the banks of the Yangtze River with his elderly mother.
He heard the water before he saw it.
Tried to carry his mother out, but she told him that it was her destiny to die in the flood.
Begged her to leave with him, but she was firm in her decision.
Climbed a nearby tree and stayed there for 4 days before a neighbor took him to higher ground by boat.
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