Floods in southern China have caused water from the Yangtze River to rise and reach the toes of a famous towering statue of the Buddha. Summer flooding is not uncommon in the region but river water rose high enough to touch the Buddha’s toes. In fact, this happens for the first time in decades. The area was closed and closed and thousands of citizens evacuated to safety. The floods began in earnest in June and have impacted at least 55 million people. Some 2.24 million residents have been displaced, with 141 people dead or missing.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Water Resources raised the national emergency response alert for flood control to level 2, which is the second highest in a four-tier system. The flooding has washed away food supply as well. Last week loods destroyed thousands of acres of farmland in Jiangxi province. The Yangtze River basin accounts for 70% of the country’s rice production. This year’s floods have been historic and the season isn’t over. The disaster was evaluated at $21 billion. The actual devastation by floods is considered a preview of climate disasters to come. Once the temperature is elevated by 2 degrees, that extreme river flow will happen once every 25 to 35 years in China, according to the 2018 study published in Environmental Research Letters. A larger swath of China’s population will be vulnerable.