It is toxic and very dangerous. By length, it ranks sixth in the world. It dragged millions of lives with its current.
It is one of the deadliest rivers in human history. The floods it caused killed millions. Throughout its history, the river has flooded over 1,500 times, often with disastrous consequences. Every year, China’s advanced systems for responding to changing water levels are put to the test.
The flood that killed 4 million people
The Huang He, known as the Yellow River, is the second longest river of the People’s Republic of China. Attempts to regulate its uncertain current by constructing embankments have been a constant practice for centuries, but the effectiveness of this method was not always satisfactory. Using silt to stabilize the riverbed was intended to protect against excessive flooding, but paradoxically it could have led to a rise in the river level.
Two floods are particularly memorable in the sad history of the Huang He River. During the first, the rising river broke through the embankments due to excessive rainfall. Then, in September 1887, the element killed over 900,000 people. people. Less than 50 years later, China’s rivers struck again. This time the disaster began on the Yangtze River, which was soon joined by the Yellow River and Huai He.
The flood of 1931 is still described as the greatest natural disaster not only for China, but also for all of humanity. The disastrous cause began with a drought that had plagued central China for the previous two years. The snowstorms and heavy rains that the following seasons brought contributed to a sudden rise in river levels. At that time, no one was able to control them. The flooding of three great Chinese rivers caused an epidemic of cholera, typhus and famine. Seven years later, in 1938, the embankments on the river were blown up on the orders of the conservative Kuomintang party. This was intended to stop the Japanese army heading to Zhengzou during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Up to 800,000 people died. This year’s flood in Slovenia, called the biggest natural disaster in the history of this small country, killed 6 people.
The Yellow River is still a threat
The river that gave rise to Chinese civilization still exists today as one of the most recognizable symbols of the country. The world’s largest loess area flows with it carrying tons of silt, which gives it its characteristic yellowish-brown color. Only 16 percent its contents may be suitable for drinking, but in many places it is highly toxic. Floods occur here regularly.
China’s disaster response systems are put to the test every day. The Chinese must respond immediately to dangerously swollen rivers and plan every detail of a relief plan for residents trapped in waterlogged cities.