Movie: News from the Future - China floods

Worse-ever flood hit the Quandong province in China, with 50 million people evacuated.

© Australian Museum
Art of Multimedia
Art of Multimedia


China's southern industrial powerhouse the Quandong province, has ground to a halt as flood waters rise in the low lying Pearl River delta. More serious than any of the previous floods, and as predicted decades ago by scientists worldwide, 50 million people have been evacuated to already overcrowded outlying provinces. Officials in Guangdong province fear further high tides, rains and swollen rivers will threaten levees. Fresh water supplies have been limited to 2 litres per person, when it can be shipped to the provinces. As the water continues to rise, several big export manufacturing zones are at risk of flooding. This will mean a shortage of children’s toys, palm–pods, and the latest Playstation 23 in Christmas stockings all over Australia this year. The capital, Guangzhou, itself only 11 metres above sea level, has appealed to Sydney, its sister city, for emergency medical supplies as dysentery, dengue fever and cholera spread.

Our reporter spoke to some of the locals to find out how they are coping.

The situation here in Guangdong is pretty bleak, with many people having lost homes and livelihoods. A 50-year-old farmer told me that the water came about 3m above peak river level, and all his cabbages were washed away. This is a common story, and it won’t be the last time it happens here.


  • News reader: Louise Berg
  • Journalist: David Bock

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