Floods in China’s Zhejiang and Hubei provinces, following torrential rain, have caused the deaths of at least 170 people. The flooding is said to be the worst in the area since 1955, and more than 5 million people have been caught up in the disaster.
The rising waters have also triggered landslides, and the government has mobilised troops to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people.
China has experienced many deadly floods in its history. The Yellow River, known as ‘China’s sorrow’ is said to have flooded 1,500 times. In September, 1887 after a period of very heavy rain, it burst the dykes that local people had built along its banks, and inundated an area of up to 50,000 square miles.
The flood was followed by famine and disease, and the number of people who perished may have been as high as 2.5 million, making this probably the deadliest flood the world has ever seen.