Wu Yijin, William A. Gough, Jiang Tong, Wang Xuelei, and Jin Weibin. “The Trend and Fluctuation of Historical Floods in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River.” Wuhan University of Natural Sciences 8 (2003): 91-94.
The ’97 floods in the Upper Plains states were caused by heavy rainfall during the fall. Water from that record rainfall froze, and snow then fell on the ice. When the spring thaw came, not only the water from the winter snowfall but also the water from the earlier autumn rainfall rushed into the Red River.
Using the Example of River Basins & Flooding Essay …
In June 1938, Chinese Nationalist armies under the command of Chiang Kai-shek breached the Yellow River’s dikes at Huayuankou in Henan province in a desperate attempt to block a Japanese military advance. For the next nine years, the Yellow River’s waters spread southeast into the Huai River system via its tributaries, inundating vast quantities of land in Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces. Perhaps the single most environmentally damaging act of warfare in world history, the strategic interdiction threw long-established water control infrastructure into disarray, leading to floods that persisted until the Yellow River was finally returned to its previous course in 1947. Between 1938 and 1947, this disaster killed more than 800,000 people in Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu and displaced nearly four million.
Insights from socio-hydrology modelling on dealing …
Any immediate strategic benefits gained from the Nationalist gambit of turning the Yellow River into a weapon came at a tremendous price. Once diverted, the river flowed unimpeded across eastern Henan’s landscape, which had a generally higher elevation in the north than in the south, it left the channel it had followed since 1855 and took a new course. No topographical divisions prevented the river from moving southeast to join the Huai River. Advancing at a steady rate of around 16 kilometers per day, floods spread into narrow, shallow beds of rivers and streams that flowed toward the Huai. Floodwaters filled these waterways and broke their embankments, causing them to overflow and inundate fields to the east and west.
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People tried to rescue young children and the aged. They tried to save tools, livestock, grain, and other belongings but there was not enough time to salvage everything. Many people drowned in the flooding; far more would succumb to illness or hunger in the difficult months and years that followed. To the east, however, the river’s diversion halted the invading Japanese, who abandoned their westward march. The vital railroad junction at Zhengzhou was held for the time. The city of Hankou, China’s provisional political center after the fall of Nanjing, won a temporary breathing spell.
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In early July 1938 the floodwaters entered the headwaters of the Huai River, turning northeast to cut across the Jin-Pu railway before pouring into Hongze Lake. The lake overflowed and waters burst into Jiangsu, flowing in three streams toward the Pacific Ocean. Nature’s rhythms heightened the catastrophe, as high levels of summer precipitation increased the flooding’s severity. Especially heavy rains fell throughout June and July. Waters surged as a result.