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Poor Die In Floods As The Rich Chill Out


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
China's rainy season has highlighted the increasingly bitter divide between rich and poor, with rural areas bearing the brunt of the 732 people dead or missing in floods.

Within a relatively few miles of the gleaming skyscrapers of the new industrial zones of the Pearl River delta around Hong Kong, water has swept through villages reaching almost to the top of telegraph poles.

Guangxi province, one of the country's poorest and the source of much of the labour that keeps the economy on the coast running, suffered its worst flooding for a century. About 1.5 million people have been forced from their homes in the past few weeks.

By contrast, a week-long heatwave in the north and east, including Beijing, led to power shortages as urban residents turned up their air conditioning.

Temperatures reached 41 Celsius (106F) in the capital and companies were asked to limit their air conditioners to 26 Celsius (79F) as an economy measure.

Although flooding has been a Chinese curse for centuries, its pattern has changed drastically in recent decades.