2016 China floods

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2016 China floods
Date June–September 2016
Location Southern and northern China
Deaths 449+ total (350+ from flooding, 99 from tornado)
Property damage US$22 billion[1]

In mid-June 2016, heavy rainfall began across southern China, triggering deadly floods. Over the following month, additional rain events exacerbated flooding and affected more of the country. Areas along the Yangtze River and Huai River have been particularly hard-hit.[2] An estimated 32 million people across 26 provinces were affected and more than 200 people were killed.[3] 280,000 hectares (700,000 acres) of cropland was destroyed, with state damage estimates of around US$5.73 billion.[4] According to Aon Benfield, the damage estimate has reached US$22 billion.[1] Flooding of this magnitude was last seen in the country in 1998.[5]


During the late spring and early summer, a semi-permanent frontal boundary—called the meiyu front—emerges across eastern China, Taiwan, and Japan. This feature leads to prolonged periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms which frequently cause damage. Rainfall along this boundary tends to be particularly heavy in post-El Niño summers such as the summer of 2016.[6]


  1. Year 2016 has been defined as El Nino year and the south part of China is largely influenced by this weather phenomena.
  2. Many lakes in cities had been turned into land in the development process of modern cities. Because of the enormous demand for food and housing (China population) in China, the natural drainage system has been damaged, water logging leading to problems in inner city development.
  3. Many dams have been built along the Yangtze river, reducing the amount of water which could flow through the river.


Satellite image of the meiyu front and associated thunderstorms on 23 June when a violent tornado struck Jiangsu
On July 14, 2016, the floods had spread and the water was rising fast in Ningxiang, Hunan Province, China.

Heavy rainfall in South China began on 14 June, resulting in floods that killed 14 people. Over the following week, flooding spread across seven provinces and claimed a further 22 lives. By 20 June, at least 3.7 million people had been affected by the disaster and 197,000 were displaced. At least 10,500 homes collapsed and damage reached ¥2.7 billion (US$410 million).[7] On 23 June, a violent EF4 tornado devastated communities in Funing and Sheyang Counties within Jiangsu.[8] At least 99 people were killed and 846 others were injured,[9][10] making it the deadliest tornado to hit China in half a century.[11]

By the end of June, much of Eastern China suffered from flooding with areas along the Yangtze River experiencing the worst effects. More than 200,000 homes were damaged and economic losses reached ¥29 billion (US$4.4 billion).[12]

On 2 July, 23 people were killed and 7 injured when a landslide engulfed a village in Bijie, Guizhou.[13] Photos of two pig farmers on their submerged farm in Lu'an, Anhui went viral leading to 6,000 pigs being rescued from rising waters.[14][15] The outskirts of Liuzhou, Guangxi was flooded by the swollen Liu River.[4] 35 people were killed after a landslide hit a village in the Kunlun Mountains, Xinjiang on 7 July.[16]


Wuhan saw 570 mm (22 in) of rainfall during the first week of July, surpassing the record that fell on the city in 1991. A red alert for heavy rainfall was issued on 2 July, the same day that eight people died after a 15-metre (49 ft) section of a 2 m (6.6 ft) tall wall collapsed on top of them.[17] The city's subway system, the Wuhan Metro was partially submerged as was the main railway station.[18] In Ezhou, the Mingtang Stadium was flooded, waterlogging the entire pitch within the bowl structure.[19] At least 27 people were killed in the province and 400,000 required evacuation. Flooding encompassed 500,000 hectares (1,200,000 acres) of crops; 15,000 homes collapsed or sustained major damage, and economic losses reached ¥5.7 billion (US$850 million).[20]


On 6 July, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang toured Anhui, Hubei and Hunan and called on local officials to prepare for more flooding.[21] At the same time, Chinese Paramount leader Xi Jinping dispatched the Chinese army and armed police to help with flood relief efforts. Media reports have suggested that Typhoon Nepartak may worsen the flooding when it makes landfall traveling from Taiwan.[18][22]

See also


  1. ^ a b Masters, Jeff; Henson, Bob (15 July 2016). "Earth's 5th Costliest Non-U.S. Weather Disaster on Record: China's $22 Billion Flood". The Weather Underground. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  2. ^ Buckley, Chris (8 July 2016). "Widespread Flooding in China Kills Nearly 200, Providing a Test for Leaders". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  3. ^ "China steps up flood rescue in Wuhan". BBC News. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Over 200 Dead or Missing, Millions Homeless After Catastrophic Flooding Hits China, Pakistan". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  5. ^ "More than 100 dead as China experiences worst floods since 1998". CNN. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  6. ^ Bob Henson (23 June 2016). "At Least 78 Deaths in China Tornado; Midwest Dodges Major Damage". Weather Underground. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Floods in south China claim 22 lives: Xinhua". Press TV. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Death toll from tornado in China rises to 99". World Bulletin. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  9. ^ "江苏盐城龙卷风冰雹已造成98人死800人伤" (in Chinese). Sina Corp. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  10. ^ Kalra, Shivika. "99 killed, 846 injured in China tornado and hailstorm". India Today. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  11. ^ "China mounts rescue efforts as tornado toll hits 98". Bangkok Post. AFP. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Global Flood Events Rack Up $5B in Economic Costs in June: Aon Report". Insurance Journal. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  13. ^ "23 killed, 7 injured in Guizhou landslide". China Central Television. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Rescue operation to save 6,000 pigs from flooding in China after photos of distraught farmers go viral". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  15. ^ Bailey, Rebecca (5 July 2016). "Farmers' tearful farewell to flooded pigs prompts sympathy online". BBC News. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Landslide kills 35 in northwest China". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  17. ^ "8 dead after rain topples wall in C. China- China.org.cn". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  18. ^ a b Li, Jing; Lau, Mimi (7 July 2016). "Super typhoon Nepartak threatens further flood misery in mainland China". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  19. ^ Yan, Alice (4 July 2016). "Death toll from torrential rain across China rises to 186". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  20. ^ "3 days of heavy rain in China leave 50 dead, 12 missing". Inquirer. Associated Press. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  21. ^ "China flooding leaves scores dead and missing". CBS News. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  22. ^ Phillips, Tom (8 July 2016). "Super typhoon Nepartak causes devastation across Taiwan's coastline". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2016.

External links

  • CHINA: Torrential rains cause widespread flooding
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