Natural Hazards

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 267–278 | Cite as

Flood, drought and typhoon disasters during the last half-century in the Guangdong province, China

  • Qiang ZhangEmail author
  • Wei Zhang
  • Yongqin David Chen
  • Tao Jiang
Original Paper


In this paper, we present the changing properties of losses due to occurrences of droughts, floods and typhoon disasters in the Guangdong province, a comparatively economically prosperous province in the south China. Influences of typhoon activities on droughts and floods are also analysed. Results based on extensive and thorough investigations indicate that (1) generally, Guangdong province is both humid and warm; however, in recent decades, the negative impacts of droughts seem to be enhancing, which is proved by increasing drought-induced economic loss. In this sense, considerable importance should be attached to droughts, but not solely to floods, in the Guangdong province; (2) low-lying terrain of the Guangdong province makes this region easy to be influenced by flood inundation. Moreover, highly urbanized areas are mostly located in the low-lying areas. Flood-induced loss was increasing before 1990s and is decreasing after 1990s, and this should be attributed mainly to seasonal shifts of precipitation changes and enhancing human mitigation to flood disasters; (3) typhoon activities often inflict considerable loss on the economy of the Guangdong province. Moreover, flood events in the study region are mostly the results of typhoon activities. Flash floods, strong wind and storm surge accompanying typhoon activities are the major factors intensifying the negative impacts of the typhoon disasters.


Floods Droughts Typhoon activities Guangdong province South China 



This work was financially supported by The Project of Guangdong Science and Technology Department (Grant No. 2010B050800001), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41071020), State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering (Grant No. Yk909003), the Program for Outstanding Young Teachers of the Sun Yat-sen University (Grant No. 2009-37000-1132381), a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. CUHK405308) and by a Direct Grant from the Faculty of Social Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Project No. 2021022). The last but not the least, cordial thanks should be extended to the editor-in-chief, Prof. Dr. T. S. Murty and two anonymous reviewers for their professional comments which greatly improved the quality of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiang Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wei Zhang
    • 3
  • Yongqin David Chen
    • 3
    • 4
  • Tao Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Water Resources and EnvironmentSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Water Security in Southern China of Guangdong High Education InstituteSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Geography and Resource ManagementThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  4. 4.Centre of Strategic Environmental Assessment for ChinaThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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