Lacey Olsen 1
Instructor Jill Lockard
28 Sept 2014
The Central China Floods of 1931
Unusual weather patterns from the years 1928-1930 came together to create the twentieth century’s worst natural disaster. Starting in 1928 and lasting through the winter of 1930 China suffered through a major drought, then the winter brought on severe blizzards and snowfall. Completely unexpected by the Chinese people, the summer of 1931 unleashed 24 in. of rainfall, this coupled with the melting snow and ice of the previous winter lead into massive flooding of major river systems. The rivers swelled to 53 feet above normal.
The Yangtze River and Yellow River overflow in early ...view middle of the document...
Some small dams were constructed during this tumultuous time along the Yangtze River. The nearly 50 million people affected by this flood received some aid but the area did not fully recover until the 1980’s. Throughout those decades and up until current times, flooding in China has been a constant occurrence and is the biggest natural disaster threat the have.
China has not seen flooding like that, that occurred in 1931 but they have averaged 6 floods a year. Now it is extremely rare for the death toll to rise above 40 in any of these floods but it does occur when proper maintenance and repair are not preformed of the Chinese rivers. With the current population of China being at an estimated 1.357 billion people and 3.624 million of those living in Najing alone it is pivotal for China to predict major flooding and ensure their populations safety
While predicting flooding was not a priority nor a well thought science in the 1930, today we are constantly monitoring droughts, landscapes, and rainfall as well as river forecasting to provide as much warning as possible in the event of flooding.
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The Great Bhola Cyclone of 1970
Three weeks prior to November 12th 1970, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) experienced a “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Situation. Meteorologist predict a massive cyclone will hit the coast and advise an evacuation. The Government responds and evacuates everyone living in the proposed affected area. When the cyclone hits, it’s nothing but a minor storm in the eyes of the leadership. On 10th of November 1970 the East Pakistani Government gets another warning, clear everyone out from the coast, this one is going to be bad. A warning is broadcasted that a storm is coming and to prepare, was issued to the citizens during the weather segment of their normal broadcasting only. No evacuation is preformed, and many do not even know what is coming. The Government did not want to over-react like they did just three weeks earlier (Weather Channel). The night of Novemer 12th 1970 saw the lives of an estimated 500,000 people perish, most were sleeping.
This cyclone formed out of the remnants of a tropical storm that started the 9th of November and slowly gained speed and crept closer to it’s intended target, East Pakistan. It was not until the 11th when the storm had been classified a category 3 hurricane. With the forces of 140 mph winds and a twenty foot storm surge The Great Bhola Cycone made landfall. An estimated death toll of 500,000 was originally reported by the East Pakistani Government as only 50. Over 540 million (USD 2014) worth of damage, 85% of buildings destroyed, and in a population where 80% of protein comes from the fishing industry, 65% of that fishing industry was destroyed(Hurricanes: Science and Society).
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Political strife in that region before the tragedy coupled with the Governments failure of warning the people was bad enough, then their government broke the last straw in...