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Central China Floods 1931

The 1931 Central China floods were a series of floods that occurred in mainland China.
by

Ann Yvette

on 1 November 2012

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Transcript of Central China Floods 1931

1931 Central China Floods Disaster In China Huai River Yangtze River The 1931 Central China Floods are a series of floods that occurred during the Nanjing decade in the Republic of China era. It is generally considered the deadliest natural disaster ever recorded. The Yellow River has historically been considered the "cradle of Chinese civilization". Major floods on the river generally have catastrophic agricultural, economic and social effects. The Yellow River flood of 1931 occurred between July and November, completely inundating 87,000 km2 (20,000,000 acres) of land and killing between 1 and 2 million people. The Yangtze along with the Huai River flood reached Nanjing, the capital of China at the time. The city, located on an island in a massive flood zone, suffered catastrophic damage. Millions died of drowning or from waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhus. Wives and daughters were sold by desperate residents, and cases of infanticide and even cannibalism were reported in stark details to the government. 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 water level exceeding 53 ft (16 m) above normal. Comparatively, this is an average of 5.6 ft (1.7 m) above the Shanghai Bund. On the evening of August 25, 1931, the water rushing through the Grand Canal washed away dikes near Gaoyou Lake. Some 200,000 people drowned in their sleep. From 1928 to 1930, a long drought afflicted China. By some accounts, abnormal weather over central China began in the winter of late 1930. Heavy snowstorms in the winter were followed by a spring thaw and heavy rains that raised the river levels significantly. The rain grew heavier in July and August 1931. In July alone, seven cyclones hit the region; on average, two occur per year. Estimates of the total death toll range from 145,000 to between 3.7 million and 4 million. To this day, the China flood of 1931 is regarded as the most devastating water-related disaster anywhere in the 20th century, perhaps ever. Yellow River The worst period of flooding was from July to August 1931. In July alone, four weather stations along the Yangtze River reported rain totaling over 2 feet (24 in) for the month. The casualties of the Yangtze River overflow region reached 145,000, and the flooding affected a further 28.5 million.
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