Flooding and landslides sweep destruction across Asia

Torrential rain has caused flooding and landslides across six Chinese provinces, forcing 650,000 people into emergency evacuation and collapsing more than 10,000 homes. An emergency assessment by Oxfam Hong Kong revealed people are in urgent need of daily necessities such as cooking oil, rice and blankets.

Oxfam planned to carry out emergency relief work and public hygiene education in Guizhou and Shaanxi, two affected provinces that rank among the poorest in China. Plan China also launched relief efforts in Shaanxi, and hoped to assist more than 3,000 children by distributing meals, bedding, soap and raincoats. It also planned to repair damaged classrooms, which flooded “within minutes.” Thousands of children are currently unable to attend school.

A washed-out bridge normally used by 11,000 people each day is also slated for repair by Plan and local partners. Without it, children would have to walk for at least an hour to get to school.

More heavy rain is likely to come soon as the rainy season approaches, according to a Plan program manager.

The damaging weather effects appear to be regional: India, Bangladesh and Japan have also suffered damage in recent flooding. Christian Aid reported it is responding to the worst floods in India’s Assam state in 30 years, caused by exceptionally heavy monsoon rains. There, 117 people have died and more than half a million have been forced to leave their homes for government-sponsored camps.

More than 100 people died in Bangladesh last month due to floods and landslides, and 250,000 Japanese abandoned their homes following “hundreds of landslides.” With roads damaged and some areas inaccessible, the Japanese military delivered food by helicopter to stranded districts.

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About the author

  • Jennifer Brookland

    Jennifer Brookland is a former Devex global development reporter based in Washington, D.C. She has worked as a humanitarian reporter for the United Nations and as an investigative journalist for News21. Jennifer holds a bachelor's in foreign service from Georgetown University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University and in international law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School. She also served for four years as an Air Force officer.