Floods along the Yangtze 2016, 2011

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo August 8, 2016
March 27 vs July 28, 2016 along the Yangtze River

March 27 vs July 28, 2016 along the Yangtze River


Notably, Poyang Lake, Donting Lake, and other wetlands along the Yangtze River were unusually low in March. If water levels had been closer to normal in the spring, the damages from the summer flooding likely would have been far more severe. However, the damages from China’s 2016 floods have already topped more than $22 billion (U.S.), according to the International Disasters Database. That makes the floods the second most expensive natural disaster in China, and the fifth most expensive disaster on record outside of the United States, noted Weather Underground meteorologists Jeff Masters and Bob Henson.

Top destructive non-U.S. disasters since 1980


The recent floods followed months of devastating drought, China Daily reported. Prior to the torrential rains, 3.5 million people endured water shortages. Although the rain brought much-needed moisture, it also brought deadly floods and landslides. As of June 28, nearly 100 people had died and about 27,000 homes had been destroyed.

May 28 vs June 27, 2011


In late May, Poyang Lake is an assortment of small, isolated water bodies. One month later, the water bodies have merged into a swollen lake. Meanwhile, Dongting Lake has multiplied in area.