Report of the National Flood Relief Commission, 1931-1932

Report of the National Flood Relief Commission, 1931-1932

Report of the National Flood Relief Commission, 1931-1932

Report of the National Flood Relief Commission, 1931-1932

Excerpt

During the late summer months of 1931, 25,000,000 people, inhabiting an area of 70,000 square miles, were affected in various ways by the greatest flood in the history of China. Approximately 140,000 persons were drowned and a number which cannot be accurately ascertained, but which must be very large, lost their lives through other causes directly attributable to the flood. Forty percent of the people in the affected regions were compelled to migrate for the greater part of the winter. A crop worth $900,000,000 was lost, and a total loss of $2,000,000,000 was borne by a community whose average family earnings do not exceed $300 a year.

This is only the bare statistical record of the flood. It fails to reveal the appalling suffering and demoralisation endured by the huge armies of refugees, and it gives no indication of the complete dislocation of normal economic activities. These figures are sufficient, however, to show that the Central China Flood of 1931 must be ranked as one of the most disastrous natural calamities which the world has witnessed.

The unparalleled magnitude of the catastrophe raised problems of great difficulty. Immediate steps had to be taken to relieve millions of destitute families threatened with rapid starvation, and to restore within a few months an elaborate dyke system without which the devastated areas would be permanently uninhabitable. It was clear that so colossal a task could not be accomplished by any existing organization. Accordingly, on August 14, 1931, the National Government set up a National Flood Relief Commission. How that body performed its work is now set forth in detail in the following pages, which constitute the Commission's final report.

The Commission decided that its first task was to save the lives of the refugees by providing food, shelter, clothing, and protection against outbreaks of disease.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.