Shanxi floods leave dozens dead, 120,000 displaced, and hundreds of cultural relics damaged

Politics & Current Affairs

Another deadly deluge has hit a Chinese province, three months after the Henan floods. At least 29 have died and hundreds of “immovable cultural relics” have been damaged in the flooding in Shanxi.

cars in floods in china
Photo of Shanxi floods from Xinhua via Sina.

China’s northern Shanxi Province has been struck with severe flooding over the past week, affecting a reported 1.75 million people, with 120,000 of those being evacuated from their homes.

Coal mines and cultural relics affected

The rainfall in Shanxi, which totaled “more than three times the average monthly rainfall for October in just five days,” destroyed more than 17,000 buildings and damaged nearly 190,000 hectares of farmland.

The floods led to worries about coal capacity, as some 60 coal mines in Shanxi were temporarily shuttered in the last week amid a power crisis. However, as of today, officials said (in Chinese) that all but four of these mines had resumed operations and the impact on output is expected to be limited.

Historic and cultural sites are a more lasting, Shanxi-specific concern because of the province’s high number of “immovable cultural relics” — 53,875, the most in China.

  • “A total of 1,763 immovable cultural relics in the province have suffered various degrees of damage, including cracked and collapsed walls, leaking roofs, and other structural damage,” Sixth Tone reports.
  • This includes the collapse of a 25-foot section of a wall in Pingyao, a World Heritage Site known as China’s best-preserved ancient city.

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