The Great Flood of 1931

In 1931 China’s three primary rivers, the Yangtze, Hwang, and Hwai, all flooded due to record rainstorms. The result was what is considered to be the most devastating water related disaster of the 20th century. 140,000 Chinese drowned, and 3.7 million others died in the months following the flood due to starvation and malnutrition. At least 70,000 square miles were flooded, and in some places the water was 10-15 feet deep for months. The flood also had much longer term effects, as 5 million farmers were forced to leave their land, which led to a drastic rice shortage. Throughout China, around 1000 levees broke, resulting in 5,000 miles in levees that needed repair. This was a disaster which killed 15 times the number of people as the Indonesian tsunami of 2004. Yet for how much of an impact these floods had, they are still unknown to most people.

Eric A |

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