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China Flood (1931)

  • By: Patric R. Spence & Ivan Gahn
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

In 1931, extensive flooding occurred in China, especially on the Yellow River and Yangtze River. These floods significantly affected one-quarter of the Chinese population, or 51 million Chinese people. The flood at the Yellow River (Huang He) produced four million casualties, the highest of all recorded natural disasters. The Yellow River serves the northern regions of China and runs for 3,395 miles. The Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) is the longest river in Asia, as well as the world's third longest river. The Yangtze spans 3,915 miles across southern China.

Heavy snowstorms in the winter were followed by a spring thaw with abnormally heavy rains that raised the river levels even higher. The rain increased into July and August 1931. The rising water levels of the Yangtze ...

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