Report On the State of the Environment In China
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Climate and Natural Disasters


Basic Climate Situation In 2002, the temperature in most parts of the country was higher than that in normal years. The precipitation was above or on the par of that in normal years. Different types of meteorological disasters and abnormal climate occurred during the year. According to the statistics on the area of crops hit by disasters nationwide, drought and flood were still main climatic disasters with the stricken area exceeding three fourth of the total area hit by disasters. The loss caused by climatic disasters was moderate to serious this year.

Distribution of Precipitation In 2002, the precipitation was larger than that in normal years. The annual precipitation in the nation had unbalanced space-time allocation and was 33.1 mm higher than that in normal years. Different degrees of drought occurred in Yellow River and Huai River Basin, northern part, northeast, northwest, and southern part of China. Certain degree of flood also occurred in some areas of southeast, south, southwest and north- west part of China

Distribution of Precipitation in the Country in 2002

Temperature Allocation In 2002, the temperature in most parts of China was higher than that in normal years. In winter ( from December 2002 to February, 2002 ), average temperature nationwide was 2°C higher than that in normal years. This winter was considered as the second warmest in the past 50 years. In spring ( from March to May), the temperature in most parts of China was higher by 1-2°C compared with that in normal years. In Summer (from June to August), the average temperature in most parts of China was normal or a little bit higher. The temperature in north-west and north part of China was higher by 1-2°C. In Autumn (from September to November), the temperature in most parts of China was almost the same as that in normal years. 

Climatic Disasters (Drought) In 2002, the precipitation from January to March in northern and southern part of China was reduced by 40%. The temperature was continuously abnormally high at the same period. The area hit by drought covered most parts of north, middle and west part of northeast, north part of Yellow River and Huai River, east part of northwest and some parts of south and southwest. According to the statistics at the end of March, the area hit by drought and water shortage in the nation was 21 million hectares. 15.9 million rural people suffered from temporary shortage of drinking water. Some cities and towns above county level in 24 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) lacked water resources. (Rainstorm) From the end of April, 2002, to the middle of May, overcast and rainy weather continued in the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River. Heavy rain or rainstorm occurred in parts of the region. The precipitation was around 200 to 500 mm. The water level in the tributaries of Dongting Lake and Boyang Lake was even above alarming water lever for a time. There were obvious spring floods. Water logging occurred in some areas. Rainy season started early in northern part of China with moderate to heavy rain, or even rainstorm from west to east in early and middle of June. Floods, mud-rock flow and landslide disasters occurred in certain parts of Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu, Xinjiang, Hebei and other provinces. In Foping county of Shaanxi province, the mortality from these disasters was 132. At the end of October, heavy rain to rainstorm occurred in Nanling and Wuyi Mountain, which was considered as unusual late autumn floods. (Tropical Windstorm) In 2002, 26 cases of tropical windstorm occurred in northwestern Pacific and South China Sea. Among those, 17 cases were further developed to be typhoon. Six cases landed in China. The number of cases landed was less than that in normal years. The intensity was weaker, therefore, the losses was less serious compared with that in previous years. (Sandstorm) In the spring of 2002, 12 cases of sandstorm (eight cases were generated from Mongolia) occurred in the country. These cases were characterized as strong intensity, wide scale of influence, and the occurrence being centralized in certain period.

Earthquake Disasters In 2002, there were 29 earthquakes in China registered as 5 scales of magnitude above. Among that, there were 25 earthquakes with 5 scales of magnitude, 2 earthquakes with 6 scales of magnitude and 2 earthquakes with 7 scales of magnitude. 19 earthquakes occurred in Taiwan, 1 case in East China Sea and 9 cases in Chinese mainland. 

In 2002, 5 earthquakes caused disastrous incidents in the mainland. The earthquake disaster hit 170 thousand people in Chinese mainland. The area affected by the disaster was about 5316 square kilometers. 2 people died, 3 badly wounded and 357 people were slightly injured. The area of houses destructed was 4010 square kilometers. 30.089 thousand square kilometers were seriously damaged. 365.685 thousand square kilometers were moderately damaged. 917.751 thousand square kilometers were slightly damaged. The total direct economic loss from the cases of earthquake reached to 148 million Yuan.

Loss Caused by Earthquake Disasters In China's Mainland in 2002

dents No. 

Time Location


Number of Casualties Destruction of Houses(m2) Direct Economic Loss('10 thousand Yuan )


Time Died Seriously Wounded Slightly wounded Destruc-


Serious Moderate Slight
01 08-08 19:42 SichuanXinlong 5.3 0 3 6 4010 27175 120836 278542 3034
02 09-05 12:18 ZhejiangTaishun
4.0 0 0 0 0


87703 204454 873.62
03 10-20 23:46 Inner Mongolia
Xiwuzhumuqin county
5.0 0 0 0 0 2806 15640 104730 800.76
04 12-14 21:27 GansuYumen 5.9 2 0 350 0 108 26965 103653 7020.17
05 12-25 20:57 XinjiangWuqia 5.7 0 0 1 0 0 114541 226372 3045.85


2 3 357 4010 30089 365685 917751 14774.4

Geological Disasters In 2002, there were 40246 cases of various types of geological disasters in the country, causing the death of 853 people, disappearance of 109 people and injury of 1797 people. The direct economic loss was 5.1 billion Yuan. 

Oceanic Disasters 2002 was considered as the year with moderate to slight degree of oceanic disasters in the nation. The direct economic loss caused by oceanic disasters in the whole year was about 6.6 billion Yuan. The total number of people died and disappeared was 124. The population affected by the disaster was 10 million. 

Table Loss Caused by Main Oceanic Disasters in 2002


Dead、Missing(people) Economic Loss
(100 million Yuan)
Windstorm Tide 30 63.1
Red Tide - 0.23
Billow Disaster 94 2.5
Oil Leakage in the Sea   0.046
Total 124 65.9

Measures and Actions

Promulgation and Implementation of " National Plan for Marine Function Zones" On August 22, 2002, the State Council approved “National Plan for Marine Function Zones”. The marine area under the jurisdiction of Chinese government was divided into ten major marine function zones, named as port navigation zone, zone for utilization and conservation of fishery resources, zone for utilization of mineral resources, tourism zone, zone for utilization of seawater resources, zone for utilization of oceanic energy, zone for engineering projects, zone for ocean conservation, zone for special uses, and reservation zone. 

Forecast of Geological Disasters In 2002, 703 cases of geological disasters were successfully forecasted. The lives of 19120 people were saved. 236 million Yuan of direct economic loss was avoided. 

Investigation and Zoning of Geological Disasters Since 1999, Ministry of Land Resources has conducted investigation in the areas frequently hit by geological disasters in 414 counties (cities). The local governments also made similar investigation in 18 counties. 168 counties were investigated in 2002. The accumulated number of counties being investigated was 295. The investigation in the rest 137 counties was still ongoing. According to preliminary statistics, 108 square kilometers of land was investigated. 400 thousand square kilometers were designated as the area easily hit by geological disasters. Nearly 2500 locations were found to be hidden dangerous locations for different types of geological disasters. The corresponding information system and public monitoring and prevention network were set up. 

Water Environment
Marine Environment
Atmospheric Environment
Acoustic Environment
Solid Wastes
Radiative Environment
Arable Land / Land Resources
Climate and Natural Disasters
Environmental Management