- May 21, 2020
Flood Pains in Hunan
FloodPains in Hunan
FloodPains in Hunan
Chinahas experienced many geological events, which have left many in paindue to loss of homes, properties, and loved ones. My uncle who livesin Hunan province is telling one such painful story. One day in July2014, as he and his family were at home relaxing, it started raining.The raining continued for a moment, and what seemed as normal rainturned deadly. My uncle told me that water levels started to rise andpeople started running for safety. Floodwater on the roads swept awaysome cars and submerged others. Pedestrians also had a rough timecrossing the roads. They had to tie their waists with ropes toprevent themselves from being swept away by the speeding water. Thelarge amount of water swallowed the city and formed a lake. The heavydownpour was also accompanied by high winds. They brought down manytrees that surrounded my uncle’s compound. It also destroyed manyrooftops and power lines in the town, leaving many families withoutpower. To save their lives, they had to go to rescue centers, buttheir journey to the centers was not easy. The rescue workers had along day improvising rescue methods. Children and grownups crossedover using their neighbors’ rooftops using ladders to escape thedeadly water. According to my uncle, over 5 meters deep waterextended to over 100 kilometers in the town, displacing thousands offamilies who had lived in Hunan for decades.
Thestory touched me and increased my urge to conserve the environment. Ilearned that none of us is safe from weather catastrophes. I realizedthat it is not the Mother Nature that needs us, we are the ones whoneed the Mother Nature. I also realized that water can sweep awayhouses and cars, and it is not advisable to find shelter in the areaswhen faced by floods. I learned from my uncle that they were runningto rescue centers, which were located on the high areas. Therefore,to stay safe, I have to go to the highest ground possible. I alsolearned it is always safe for people to keep first aid items andnon-perishable foods to prepare for a flood or other geologicalevent.
Eventhough I was far away from Hunan, the story affected me in a greatway. When the media broke the story on Hunan flooding, we could nothave a peace of mind at home. We could not even eat, as we did notknow the status of my uncle and his family back in Hunan. We kepttrying reaching them to no avail because even network was a problem.However, even though my uncle and his family were rescued, theirproperties were not. He was financially and emotionally damaged thathe could not think straight. All his life efforts were swept by waterin hours. He had to stay with my other relatives in China, as heplanned his next move. Even today, my uncle feels the loss. He isstruggling to pay off the debts he incurred to restart his life. Hetook bank loans and other credits from family members and friends torebuild his home. Other people in Hunan also faced severeconsequences. Many people were left jobless as the heavy downpourdestroyed many businesses (Resnik,2016).The country’s economy was also affected due to tourism disruption.Many tourists were trapped in the city by the floods, something thatscared others from visiting Hunan.
Resnik,D. B. (2016). Climate change: Causes, consequences, policy, andethics. In BioethicalInsights into Values and Policy (pp.47-58). Springer International Publishing.