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Voice of America: Floods Force Tough Decisions, Sacrificing the Livelihoods of Farmers for the Safety of Urban Dwellers

August 06, 2003 |  

July 21, 2003

Heavy rainstorms caused flooding along the Huai River, impacting the lives of fifty million people. Fifty million mu [a Chinese measure of land area, about 6 mu per acre] of crops were lost. The financial losses have amounted to an estimated 40 billion Yuan. Since June, rainfall has increased and the Huai River water levels have been rising. This year's flood was more severe than the Huai River flood of 1991. On Sunday, light rains in Shandong, Jiangsu and other areas turned into heavier rains, and the rainfall in Henan and Anhui turned to more intense rainstorms. Due to this flood, the government has initiated close to 10 flood-buffering zones. To save the lives of tens of millions of city dwellers and industrial operations in the downstream regions of the affected area, close to a million rural villagers in the 9 flood-buffering zones have had their lives thrown into upheaval.