Editor of disasterhistory.org
Senior Lecturer in Modern History
Monash University, Melbourne

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    North China famine, 1920-21

    Famine relief poster Shenbao Shanghai 1920


    Starting in summer 1919, a rainless twelve months visited five Chinese provinces, precipitating China’s most severe food crisis since the 1870s. The famine would affect roughly the same geographical area as in the great North China famine of 1876-79, menacing anywhere between 20 and 30 million destitute residents of Zhili, Henan, Shandong, Shanxi and Shaanxi over the winter of 1920-21. Continue reading

    Haiyuan earthquake, 1920

    Haiyuan earthquake destruction 1920


    The earthquake that hit China’s remote Gansu Province in late 1920 was the world’s second deadliest of the twentieth century. It struck in the evening of the 16th of December in the rural district of Haiyuan near Inner Mongolia, leading to the deaths of more than 200,000 people and to severe destruction over an area of 20,000 square kilometers. Continue reading