Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The mudslides and flooding of China - August 2010

In my previous post I mentioned how difficult it is to comprehend the devastation of the mudslides caused by massive flooding in China, not only is it difficult to understand but also to gather data on such huge numbers of people still missing, the number of people that have drowned in the mud and whose homes have been lost for evermore.

This URL HERE gives some indication as to what is happening in China.

Today we read about a new round of rains that have started to pound the mudslide-flattened Chinese town of Zhouqu Monday night, which has increased the possibilities of new mudslides occurring.

I have attached a map to give you some idea as to some of these places are.

A ..... Shanghai where John has been the past 8 days and flew out of yesterday.
B...... Chongqing where John is all this week. 2.5 hours flight time from Shanghai.
C...... Chengdu where - in early August - 1200 people were killed and 500 still missing.
D ..... Beijing.
E ......Hong Kong
F ......Zhouqu area where most of the more recent mudslides are occurring.

China has suffered the worst flooding in a decade this summer. Floods and other rain-induced disasters have so far left more than 2,300 people dead and 1,200 missing nationwide this year and these numbers are increasing daily.

In my blog post yesterday, I had the following unbelievable numbers:

A landslide in early August in Gansu killed at least 1,239 people and left 505 missing. More than 305 million people in 28 provinces, municipalities and regions especially the southern and central provinces and regions of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing Municipality, Gansu, Sichuan and Guizhou, and the northeastern province of Jilin have been affected, while at least 4.66 million people have been evacuated because of the risk of flooding and landslides in the latter half of June. 

By early August, over 12 million people had been evacuated.
and the latest news coming out of China on Sunday:

More than 1,000 people died in the town of Zhouqu in northwest Gansu province when an avalanche of mud roared down the slopes of a mountain last weekend after torrential rain.

BEIJING, Aug.15 (Xinhua) -- China's National Meteorological Center (NMC) said Sunday morning more rains would fall in the mudslide-hit Zhouqu County in northwest China's Gansu Province in the coming three days, which may hamper the relief efforts in the region.

Showers and thundershowers with a precipitation between 1 and 5 millimeters are expected in Zhouqu County and the valley of Bailong River that runs through the county Sunday, when China began a national day of mourning for the mudslide victims.

Rainfall will strengthen to rainstorms with a precipitation up to 70 to 90 millimeters on Monday and Tuesday in Zhouqu County, said a weather forecast given by the NMC Sunday.

The mudslide in Zhouqu County has left at least 1,239 people dead and 505 others missing.

As for other parts of China, the NMC weather report said downpours and hailstones would pound some areas in northern Chongqing Municipality, southwestern Hubei Province and northwestern Hunan Province from Sunday to Tuesday.

Heavy rains will affect some areas of southern Gansu Province, western Sichuan Province, northern and southeastern Chongqing, central and southern Hubei Province, northern and western Guizhou Province, Yunnan Province, coastal regions of southern China, Hainan Province and southeastern Tibet, said the NMC.

Meanwhile, a searing heatwave continues to parch China's southern regions from Sunday to Tuesday, said the NMC.

In the coming three days, high temperature between 35 and 37 degrees Celsius will affect southeastern Sichuan Province, Chongqing Municipality, eastern areas of Guizhou and Hubei provinces, southern areas of Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, most areas in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and the central and northern parts of Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The NMC warned a sweltering weather would bake southern Hunan Province, central Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces, and northern Fujian Province from Sunday to Tuesday, with the mercury climbing above 40 degrees Celsius in some areas.   

... and of course we cannot ignore the plight of the Pakistani people either. Pakistan warned yesterday of a new flood wave making its way south along the Indus River.

We hope that somehow these people of China and Pakistan find the strength to continue on with their lives after losing family members, homes, farms and their livelihoods.

No comments: