As well as claiming 24 lives, the recent unprecedented flooding in the city of Shouguang, eastern China, has caused 9.2 billion yuan (USD1.34 billion) in economic losses, destroying 10,000 houses and collapsing 200,000 greenhouses, the local government said.
The city, in Shandong province, is China’s biggest producer of vegetables — some 4.5 million tonnes of fruit and vegetables are grown there every year.
Prices have surged 40% on average this week because of the disaster brought on by Typhoon Rumbia, China News Service reported.
Coriander, commonly used in Chinese cooking, usually costs 9.9 yuan per 500 grams — it is currently fetching 26.5 yuan for a half kilo.
Farmers across the province have experienced catastrophic losses.
— 陈光诚 Guangcheng Chen (@iguangcheng) August 24, 2018
Heavy rain – far more than was forecast – gave local officials “no choice” but to simultaneously release water from three large reservoirs upstream of the Mi River, which submerged the surrounding areas.
“If we hadn’t discharged the water, it would have posed a serious threat to the safety of the reservoirs, and would even have increased the possibility of the dams collapsing,” said Zhou Shouzong, director of the Weifang Flood Control and Drought Relief Command Office.
“[If that happened] it would have threatened the lives of millions of residents living in the downstream areas of the river.”
The government of Shouguang, East China's Shandong Province has begun reconstruction work and started returning the city to normal after some villages suffered from the most severe flood in decades. https://t.co/C2uYIQlSfd pic.twitter.com/JIjbLnDDMD
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 24, 2018
In the Weifang area, including Shouguang, the typhoon brought 174.7mm of rain – 3.2 times the level forecast by the Weifang Weather Bureau.
Upstream of the Mi River, some 241.6mm of rain has fallen – 3.9 times the amount forecast, the bureau admitted.
For residents of Shouguang, the clean-up is underway.
One elderly resident, Zhu, talked of how her home had been inundated, “It was so sad seeing my furniture and home appliances floating in the water. My home is not like a home any more.”
GSM = influx of Cosmic Rays = Cloud Nucleation