JINGDEZHEN, China — Severe flooding, with nearly a foot of rain falling in one day, caused destruction in much of southern China late last month. Repeated periods of heavy rain, as many as 20 during this year’s rainy season, caused landslides, floods and more than $1.4 billion in property damage. Nearly 270,000 people were evacuated from their homes, more than 30 people were killed and at least six people went missing.
Affected areas were Zhejiang, Fujian, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong, Henan Hubei, and Jiangxi provinces. From CBC Radio Canada news:
China has frequently been devastated by natural disasters, particularly by floods and earthquakes. Flooding, an annual problem, has been exacerbated by urban sprawl and poor drainage infrastructure in many cities.
Chinese officials had warned of the potential for record floods this year due to a strong El Nino weather pattern, which warms sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific and has been linked to serious crop damage, forest fires and flash flood and drought around the world.
Jingdezhen, China’s porcelain capital, is located in Jiangxi province. Though it seems crass to think about porcelain in the middle of so much trouble, we have to point out the impact these floods will have on the people working in that industry. See the pictures for yourself. Countless unfired pots left to melt, clay and glazes destroyed and finished works floating down the street. This will be a major hardship for a city that is already struggling economically.
A sad week for contemporary ceramics. We’ll be following this news as this ancient site of art and culture recovers.