2013 Southwest China floods

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2013 Southwest China floods
2013 Flood in Sichuan.jpg
Flood in Mianyang, Sichuan
Date 6 July 2013 (2013-07-06) to present
Fatalities 58 dead, 175 missing[1]
Areas affected
Sichuan, Yunnan

In early July 2013, much of southwest China experienced heavy rainfall that led to widespread flooding. Sichuan was the hardest hit. At least 58 people were killed as a result of the flooding, with 175 people missing.[1] An estimated 6 million lives were disrupted by the floods.[2]

Floods and damage[edit]

Starting during the weekend of 6–7 July 2013, China experienced heavy rainfall affecting 20 provinces and disrupting the lives of roughly 6 million people.[2] The southwest was the hardest hit, experiencing what was described as the heaviest rainfall in 50 years. In Dujiangyan, Sichuan 37 inches (94 cm) of rain fell from 8–9 July, the heaviest rainfall since records began in 1954.[3] The rainfall led to widespread flooding that destroyed bridges and houses, as well as a memorial for victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The rain also triggered multiple landslides that buried dozens of people.[4]

Mountainous regions of Sichuan suffered the most damage. Qushan, the former county seat of Beichuan which was depopulated after the 2008 earthquake, was submerged in 23 feet (7.0 m) of water. The site had been designated as a memorial to earthquake victims and was home to the Beichuan Earthquake Museum. On 9 July, a bridge across the Tongkou River failed, sending six cars into the rushing waters. At least twelve people went missing as a result and are presumed dead.[4] The bridge had only returned to service a few days earlier after undergoing repairs for earthquake damage. Flood waters in the area were measured at 6,600 cubic metres per second (230,000 cu ft/s), the highest recorded flow rate since records began in 1954.[2][5] Two other bridges collapsed in Sichuan with no reported injuries.[2]

In Dujiangyan City, Sichuan a landslide buried 11 homes and numerous vacation cottages on 10 July.[3][4] At least 18 people were killed by the landslide which covered 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi), and 117 were missing as of early 11 July.[3][5] Phone lines were cut, so survivors had to hike to nearby government offices for help.[3] Later on 10 July, additional landslides trapped roughly 2000 people in a tunnel between Dujiangyan and Wenchuan. All were rescued by the evening.[2] In Aba, three people were killed and 12 others went missing after a mudslide in the area.[3]

Across Sichuan more than 220,000 people were evacuated due to the storms and roughly 300 homes were destroyed by the floods[3][6] As of 11 July, there were 31 confirmed deaths in Sichuan and 166 people missing.[3]

In Suijiang, Yunnan, four people were killed by the floods.[2] The storms destroyed 5,280 homes in the province and led to the suspension of school in rural areas.[6] In Shouyang, Shanxi, twelve workers were killed when an unfinished mining building collapsed on 9 July.[2][4] Outside Beijing, three people drowned in a car. Deaths were also reported within the city, in Inner Mongolia, and in Gansu.[3]

As of 11 July, the storms had killed 46 people in total, according to official statistics, with hundreds more missing.[3] A further, sixty people were missing in Sichuan.[5] Further storms were expected on 11 July.[2]

Contributing factors[edit]

It is thought that the 2008 earthquake contributed to geological instability, which contributed to the landslides.[2] Deforestation was likely a significant factor.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "58 dead, 175 missing in Sichuan floods". Xinhua. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Zhang Xiaobo (10 July 2013). "Storms across nation cause landslides, collapse bridges". Global Times. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "At least 31 dead, 166 missing in western China as floods hit 1.6 million people nationwide". Washington Post. Associated Press. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Andrew Jacobs (10 July 2013). "Rainstorms Flood China’s Sichuan Province, Killing Dozens". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Search for China landslide missing in Sichuan". BBC. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Rainstorms affect 508,000 in SW China". China Daily. Xinhua. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.