China’s summer of climate destruction
It has struck areas where such weather has never occurred before, with scientists warning that the worst is yet to come due to climate change.
The 38-year-old Zhang Junhua, standing near a vast patch of rice that has been rendered useless by the flood, says, “I’ve never seen a flood here in my life.”. “We didn’t see it coming.”.
He says that he and his family are safe because they were warned to get to higher ground, but everyone in his village now faces tough times.
In addition, the devastation in Heilongjiang Province has seriously affected the country’s food supply. The volume and speed of the water flattened 40% of the area’s famous Wuchang rice crop this month. Today, places that should be lush and green are brown and dead.
As Zhao Lijuan tries to be philosophical about the impact on her community, she says, “The fields we planted were all submerged. We will not be able to plant again this year.”
The loss is incalculable. We have tens of thousands of acres of rice fields here, the 56-year-old said, adding: “When I saw the water come here, I cried. It laid waste to everything, and I am afraid it will happen again.”
The recent floods have claimed the lives of at least 81 people, including some who were trying to rescue others.
A country already struggling to recover after three years of strict Coronavirus control measures has suffered much wider economic pain.
To measure the immediate cost of not addressing climate change urgently, the government only needs to look at its own statistics.
The number of floods in the country has increased tenfold in just over a decade.
China experienced six to eight floods per month during the summer of 2011. In July and August of last year, more than 130 were recorded.