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The floods during 2010 in China are considered to be one of the most damaging of all floods. China had suffered terrible floods before, in particular the 1998 flooding of the Yangtze River area. But reports conclude that the flooding of 2010 was far more sever and widespread.
It is estimated that the floods caused more than $50 billion (USD) of damage, and something like 230 million people were affected, including over 3000 dead and over 1000 missing. A large swathe of the Chinese mainland was affected by the floods, with reports saying that in total 28 provinces of the People’s Republic of China suffered from the devastating floods, especially in central and southern areas. The country of North Korea was also affected.
The result of the floods was chaos. Many died from landslides, houses, transport systems and farmland were destroyed, millions has to be evacuated from the worst affected regions, and many had to get by without proper drinking water supply for long periods. Many of China’s famous and greatest rivers, including the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, were flooded to danger levels. Flooding began in early May 2010, and continued unabated until June, although at that time the flooding appeared to worsen in central China, and later still flooding began in northern provinces (during August and September). In fact in late July, the town of Kouqian in northern China’s Jilin province, became completely trapped by flood waters when neighboring rivers and reservoirs flooded. To make matters worse there, it was estimated that 1000 barrels of explosive chemicals were washed into the river during the flooding.
Here’s a news clip showing footage of the floods in China 2010, from China TV.
The Three Gorges Dam in China was place until huge strin during the floods. Claims were made that the reservoir dam was at capacity and that Yangtze River levels rose by 4 meters overnight during the worst of the torrential rains. Thus the waters were climbing high up the walls of the dam, which had a maximum water height of 175 meters and water levels were soon to reach around 160 meters. Therefore the dam had to do a controlled release of flooding waters through its spill gates. Controversy seems to follow the 3 Gorges Dam, but the Chinese Goverment claimed the dam had helped contain flood waters and prevented areas down river from suffering more than they actually did.
Various claims have been made regarding the reasons behind the floods. For example, it has been suggested that global warming was responsible, or other unusual weather patterns, such as the jet stream.
Bizarrely, China also suffered one of its worst droughts in 2010, with similar reasons (global warming, el Nino. jet streams) being blamed. The drought took place earlier in the year, and also affected parts of South East Asia. There were also terrible dust storms as a result of the drought.