China is tragically hit by heavy rains and flooding this week which left approximately 4 million hectares of farmlands submerged in water. The Chinese Ministry of Emergency Management reports that as of late, there are about 61 people who have been killed and nearly 400,000 have been evacuated from their homes due to increasing water levels in certain areas.
According to Al Jazeera News, the flooding is centered on the Southern and Central regions of China with Fujian and Guangdong provinces among those that have been massively debilitated by the catastrophes. Despite early estimates of the death toll, the government fears that there could be more people who have been killed from drowning.
This week, the Chinese government found that the flooding has caused 9,300 homes to collapse and vast agricultural lands damaged by strong and deep water currents, which has an estimated economic loss of nearly $2 billion. In a similar report by The Guardian, apart from flooding, some areas in the Fujian province have also suffered from landslides, which resulted to logistical problems as some of the main roads are no longer passable.
The recent flooding presents a huge threat to the government as these two provinces are some of the most economically progressive in the country.
The Fujian province, in particular, is an important producer of agricultural produces such as rice, sweet potatoes, barley, and wheat, and is also a major seafood destination. But what brings more concern to the government is the fact that the transportation of products that use main roads within South and Central China may be affected.
Flooding in Southern China is a typical phenomenon every year with the North suffering from low precipitation levels. But droughts have been more alarming this time around as temperature heats up in Northern China.
The government has not yet commented on whether this has something to do with global warming or not but they are looking closely at the situation and how it can respond to victims in the most efficient way possible.
China's agriculture sector has been one of its most reliable GDP contributor with vast lands dedicated to farming. The country is also a major exporter of agricultural products including rice, tomatoes, peas, and cotton. There are over 300 million Chinese who are into farming in China, and a significant proportion of them lives in the South Central region where the recent flooding took place.
If China has to remain an economic powerhouse, it must invest heavily on measures that would prevent massive flooding in its agricultural bases.