Flood Summary: growing devastation, growing relief
Disaster Prevention and Relief
Disaster relief efforts gathered pace in early August as typhoon Matsa laid waste to many areas of eastern China and heavy rains continued to leave a trail of destruction stretching from Guangxi in the far south-west to Heilongjiang in the north-east.
Close to a thousand lives have been lost across China in a summer of heavy rains and floods.
Citizens of Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui braced themselves for the arrival of Matsa which had already wreaked havoc in Taiwan. Winds of 160km per hour claimed a total of 13 lives on the mainland, and caused economic losses estimated at CNY 8.9 billion (USD 1.1 billion) during a 2-day blitz, according to a China Daily report.
Even as Matsa was edging across the Taiwan Straits, Oxfam Hong Kong joined a growing list of organisations to pledge emergency relief, releasing details of a grain distribution programme in Sichuan and a five-county response in Guangxi, which suffered heavy losses in the first wave of floods in early June.
World Vision, MSF-France, The Amity Foundation and the China Red Cross Society have also distributed bedding, grain, medicines and clothing in Guangxi and parts of Guizhou, Hunan, Sichuan, Chongqing, Anhui and Heilongjiang.
The NGO response has been boosted by a donation of USD 100,000 from the American Embassy in Beijing to the China Red Cross Society, whilst Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, a global alliance of faith-based agencies working in emergency situations, is coordinating a half-million dollar campaign to support Amity’s work.
Meanwhile the government of China has also committed additional resources with emergency top-ups totaling at least CNY 80 million (USD 9.6 million), singling out Shalan in Heilongjiang for a special payment of CNY 12 million (USD 1.48 million). One hundred and seventeen people perished (105 of them children) in Shalan in June when a low-lying primary school was engulfed by water. Damages in the township are estimated at CNY 120 million (USD 14.6 million).
MP, August 16