22 people were killed when heavy rains hit China’s Sichuan province on 26 July 2009. An accompanying landslide blocked the main highway between Sichuan and Tibet, leaving more than 64 m (70 yards) of mud on the road and over 100 vehicles stranded.
Rains and Flooding
The heavy rains and flooding hit Miyi County in Panzhihua, in the southwest of the Sichuan Province, China, on 26 July 2009. 22 people were killed. A further 38 were injured and seven remain missing.
A storm produced 177 mm (6.97 inches) of rain between 21:50 on 26 July 2009 and 08:00 on 27 July 2009. The storm affected more than 100,000 people. Around 17,500 residents were evacuated from Jiangxi province where rainfall continued for four days. More than 120 houses were destroyed and 17,000 hectares of farmland suffered. A landslide in the same province killed six people on the weekend of 25-26 July, and damaged a bridge crucial to the reconstruction of Wenchuan County, which was also hit with an 8-magnitude earthquake in May of last year.
The downpour hit Miyi County and Panzhihua City, damaging 95 houses and 533 hectares of farmland. In nearby Guizhou Province, the rains destroyed 17 houses and damaged more than 5 km (3.11 miles) of highways. The rains finally stopped in Sichuan at about 15:30, 27 July 2009.
Total economic losses were estimated to run as high as 225 million yuan (US$33 million).
A Rainy Summer
The deadly flooding of 26 July 2009 was only one in a series of floods caused by torrential rains that summer. Earlier in the month, rainstorms and flooding killed 16 people and left more than 400,000 residents homeless in the southern provinces of Fujian, Guangxi Zhuang, Hunan and Jiangxi. A reservoir and dike in Luocheng County were destroyed, and total financial damage was estimated at US $35.4 million.