TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The massive floods which have ravaged China over the past two months have inflicted a heavy toll on the communist country in terms of damages to property and direct economic losses, with the vaunted Three Gorges Dam seemingly inadequate in reducing these effects and the death toll remaining suspiciously low.
After two months of torrential rains and tremendous flooding across the Yangtze River, Yellow River, and Huai River, China’s state-run media mouthpiece Xinhua on Wednesday (July 29) cited the Ministry of Emergency Management as saying that the “rain-triggered floods” have affected 54.8 million people in 27 provincial-level regions as of Tuesday (July 28). Despite the vast scale of the disaster across China over two months, the government is reporting a miraculously low 158 dead or missing.
Xinhua says that 3.76 million people have been evacuated from flood-ravaged areas. Amid the onslaught, 41,000 homes have collapsed and 368,000 have been damaged.
A total of 5.283 hectares of farmland has been damaged and direct economic losses have climbed to 144.43 billion Chinese yuan (about 20.66 billion U.S. dollars). Compared with the average over the same period in the past five years, the number of people affected by floods this year has increased by 23.4 percent, the number of evacuations has increased by 36.7 percent, and direct economic losses have increased by 13.8%.
Related: China’s Three Gorges Dam faces mounting pressure from raging floodwaters amid fears the huge hydropower plant could collapse.
- Fast-flowing floodwaters hit the dam’s reservoir at 60,000 cubic metres per second on Monday
- The huge power station discharged the floodwaters safely on the same day, state-run media said
- Came after a CGI video predicting the consequences of the dam’s collapse had stoked up fears
- Its operator admitted earlier this month the dam had become ‘deformed’ but insisted it was safe
- China has been battling disastrous torrential rain with the Yangtze River overrunning downstream