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China Disaster Profile

UNDP Human Development Index Ranking - 87

General information

Area: 9,596,960 sq km 
Population: 1,284,303,705 (July 2002 est.)
Capital: Beijing
Religion: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Muslim 1%-2%, Christian 3%-4%
Note: officially atheist (2002 est.)
Language: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
Literacy: 83.5%
Life expectancy: 69.8 years
GDP per capita: $ 4,300


Ind: Iron and steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles and apparel, petroleum, cement, chemical fertilizers, footwear, toys, food processing, automobiles, consumer electronics, telecommunications
Agr: Rice, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish
Exp: Machinery and equipment; textiles and clothing, footwear, toys and sporting goods; mineral fuels 

Natural Disasters

Disaster Date Killed
Flood Jul-1931 3,700,000
Drought 1928 3,000,000
Flood Jul-1959 2,000,000
Epidemic 1909 1,500,000
Drought 1920 500,000
Flood Jul-1938 500,000
Flood Jul-1939 500,000
Earthquake 27-Jul-1976 242,000
Earthquake 22-May-1927 200,000
Earthquake 16-Dec-1920 180,000


Disaster Date Affected
Flood 6-Aug-1998 238,973,000
Flood 18-May-1991 210,232,227
Flood Jul-1996 154,634,000
Flood May-1995 114,470,249
Flood Jun-1999 101,024,000
Flood 14-Jul-1989 100,010,000
Flood Jun-1994 78,974,400
Drought Jun-1988 49,000,000
Flood Jul-1994 30,547,665
Wind storm 20-Apr-1989 30,007,500
Data source: Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED)

Types of Hazards: Frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence