15 rare historical photographs of 1931 China floods

Abnormal weather over central China began in the winter of late 1930.

Heavy snowstorms in the winter were followed by a spring thaw and heavy rains that raised river levels significantly. The worst period of flooding was from July to August 1931. The Yangtze and Huai River floods soon reached Nanjing, the capital of China at the time. In July, nine cyclones hit the region, whereas on average only two occur per year. The consequences were catastrophic.

Millions died of drowning, starvation or from waterborne diseases (Cholera, typhus).

Estimates of total death toll range from 145,000 to 3.7 and 4 million.

The event triggered a series of tragic consequences: "wives and daughters were sold by desperate residents, infanticides, and even cases of cannibalism were reported to the government. Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Wuhan and Chongqing were affected. The high-water mark was reached on 19 August 1931 at Hankou town in Wuhan, with the water level exceeding 53 ft (16 m) above normal."

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