Freeman Report Feb 2008 - Vol.06, No.02
February 29, 2008
The Year of the Rat scurried in on the back of four weeks of extreme winter weather in parts of China between January and February 2008. Severe snowstorms, hitting central and eastern provinces where ice and snow are rarities, created China’s worst natural disaster in 50 years. The winter storms scrambled the largest human migration in the world during China’s spring festival, when millions of Chinese migrant workers rush home for their only visit of the year. The damage to lives and property are still being tallied, but over 300,000 homes were destroyed and 90 million hectares of crops were destroyed – $22 billion in direct economic losses. At least 80 people were killed.