News from China: A Summary of the Catastrophic Floods in China
Heavy rain assailed the southern part of Anhui Province from June 19 to 21, 2002. Torrential rain fell in some regions resulting in a rainfall of 20 centimeters (almost 6 inches) in two hours. Such disastrous conditions, rare in Anhui Province, have caused significant damage.
China's Civic Department has released a communiqué on the recent floods taking place in different parts of China. Since June 2002, a total of 54 million people have been affected with a death toll of 471. Also, 2.6 million acres of land have been damaged causing an economic loss of over 17.9 billion Yuan.
China's official Xinhua News Agency reported on the floods over the past six months and their impact on 18 provinces, cities and autonomous regions. It was reported that 110 million people had been affected with a death toll of 596. Economic loss exceeded 26 billion Yuan.
Floods hit three coal mines in Hui County in a northern province killing 26. Sixteen were still trapped and 22 miners and their families were missing in the floods.
AFP reported on the disastrous floods that were happening in many provinces and regions in China. Official statistics indicated that 750, and possibly more, were either killed or missing. Although the death toll was less than that of 1998, the affected area was much larger. In 1998, only ten provinces and cities were affected, but this time 19 areas were hit.
Zhongshi E-News reported that Shaaxi was the hardest hit province in China. Three hundred missing people in the northern part of the province were believed to have died in the floods.
According to China's official Xinhua News Agency, the floods were widespread, covering Shaaxi Province in the northern area, Chongqing City of Sichuan Province in the central area, and Fujian and Jiangxi Provinces in the southern area. It was estimated that 57 million people were affected and 800,000 buildings and houses were damaged. Shaaxi was the hardest hit province where an entire village was wiped out by the floods. Such widespread flooding has not been seen in a thousand years.
According to Chutianjin News on June 25, 2002, water levels along Changjiang River in Hubei Province had risen dramatically. At 8p.m. June 24, the water levels in Wuhanguan had risen to 24.84 meters, rising at a daily rate of 0.23 meters. It was estimated that the water levels would approach the flood danger level of 25 meters on June 25.