Disaster Preparedness in Juye County (China)
Hazards and livelihood contexts
Juye's natural geographical location is a disadvantage because it is a plain area lying in a topographical depression zone, being at the same time exposed to high annual and seasonal rainfall variability. Both factors together make the county highly vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, droughts, strong winds and hailstorms. The timing of natural calamities has become more and more unpredictable and their intensities have increased often resulting in huge losses in the agricultural sector and increasing vulnerability to food insecurity. The last ten years were characterized by 6 droughts and 4 years of flooding. The weather is also very variable, especially during the growing period of major crops.
Following text provides some introductory information on hydro-meteorological and geological hazards, which are present in Juye County.
Floods: Floods are the most frequently faced disaster and also have the worst negative impacts on human livelihoods and agricultural production in the county. In 1990, 1993, 2003 and 2005, floods occurred in Juye. In these years the average annual rainfall exceeded 900 mm, and the total monthly rainfall of July and August was also over than 500 mm. These annual and seasonal rainfalls already exceed the drainage capacity of the current drainage infrastructure.
Drought: According to the villagers interviewed, the entire region faced severe drought in 1955 and consecutive droughts during 1987, 1988, 1989, 2001 and 2002. But in recent years there had been fewer drought events. However drought is still a problem when the rainfall is below normal and water in the river, drainage, and irrigation channels are very low.
Wind: During the recent years, the county has experienced meso-scale strong winds and hail storms during July and August. In 2007 strong winds damaged more than 10 houses, green houses and poplar trees in the village of Liuxi.
Earthquake: According to the seismic hazard map of the Shandong province, the county of Juye lies in a seismic prone area. It should also be noted that most of the structures in the county are non-engineered masonry building which are highly vulnerable to earthquakes of moderate intensity.
Pests and diseases: In the recent years pests have been a serious problem affecting cotton and poplar trees. Much of the cotton in the region is affected by cotton bollworm during September and October, and very recently poplar trees have started to be affected by the poplar bug which eats the young leaves of poplar trees during March and April and affects their growth.