World Journal: Natural Disasters in Yunnan and Shandong Provinces
(Clearwisdom.net) According to the August 27, 2001 report from Yunnan as reported in the World Journal, a super-large scale flood hit Funing County of Yunnan Province on August 25. As of August 26, 12 deaths, 23 disappearances and another 72 injuries have been reported. The economic loss is also very severe.
Funing County is located in southeast Yunnan and is close to Guangxi Province and the border between China and Vietnam. According to the Yunnan Daily News report, around 2 a.m. on August 25, a sudden downpour hit Funing County and nearby towns including Guichao and Dongbo. Within two hours, the amount of rainfall reached 120 mm [about 4.7 inches]. The deluge led to a rapid mountain torrent and a sharp rise of water level in all eight rivers in the county. Later, the flood gushed toward the city area. Aside from causing casualties and injuries, the flood also submerged over 500 houses, and damaged and washed away over 100 vehicles. Bridges and interstate expressways were destroyed and cut off. In some areas, electricity and communications were interrupted. The flood also submerged crop fields and fish pools, which caused serious losses.
On the same day, the World Journal reports from Jinan City indicated 8 cities and 23 counties and districts in Shandong Province suffered from various levels of hailstorms and gale force winds, which resulted in a direct economic loss of over 1.3 billion Yuan [about US $162.5 million].
It was reported that on the morning of August 23, within one to two hours, cities such as Rizhao, Jinan and Weifang in Shandong province were hit by hailstorms and gales. Twenty-three counties, cities and districts including Jiyang experienced serious losses.
Witnesses said the larger hailstones were as big as eggs and the smaller ones were the size of dates. The storm lasted for a long time, and was accompanied by a thunderstorm [in addition to the hailstorm] and strong winds. The rainfall averaged around 30 mm [about 1.2 inches]. Within a short time, the wind-force reached level seven to eight and the layer of hail covering the ground was as thick as 4~5 cm [about 1.6~2 inches]. Crops and commercial plants in affected areas suffered terrible losses; most of the fruit tree harvest was lost. Yellow cigar plants and cotton were hit and there were nothing left but bare stumps. Lots of the corn broke in half and fell to the ground. Many houses were destroyed and collapsed. According to a rough estimate, 84 people were injured and 6 died from this disaster.
Rizhao City was most severely affected by the catastrophe. Throughout the city, 41 streets were hit by the gale and hailstorm and 48,000 hectares [about 11,8519 acres] of crops were affected. Over 6,000 hectares [about 14,814 acres] of crop fields had zero harvest, 72,000 houses were damaged, and 24,000 houses collapsed. Sixty-three people were injured, including 6 who were seriously wounded, and 6 died. The direct economic loss totaled nearly 400 million Yuan [about US $50 million].