Sunday, June 20, 2010

China devastated by floods

Jonathan Watts in the Guardian (UK): Huge floods in southern China have killed at least 132 people and displaced 800,000, the government said today as the annual storm season picked up ferocity. Local media showed images of people abandoning their homes in rubber dinghies in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, one of the worst-hit areas.

Many carried bundles of possessions salvaged from the waters that turned the streets into rivers. More than 10 million people have lost property, been injured or suffered a cut in power or water supplies as a result of the week of torrential rain across Guangdong, Fujian, Guangxi, Jiangxi and Sichuan.

Many of these areas have gone from one extreme to another, according to the government. Earlier this year, south-east China endured its worst drought in living memory, but in the past week, some places have been inundated with three times the average rain for this period.

With thousands of houses destroyed and businesses and power lines put out of action in Guangdong and Fujian – the industrial hubs on the coast – the ministry of water resources estimated the economic damage at 14bn yuan (£400m)…

Flooding in Shenzhen in 1993, shot by Thisisivor, who has released the image into the public domain

No comments: