When disaster strikes in China, it’s usually on an epic scale, like in the 1931 floods that wiped out a staggering 4 million lives. China had been severely affected by a long drought that lasted 2 years, from 1928 to 1930, but that changed when winter came with heavy snowstorms. The spring that followed thawed out the snow on the mountains and heavy rains poured down, raising the water level in the Yangtze and Huai Rivers with horrific consequences. Millions drowned under the torrents, while the survivors were hit by waterborne diseases. The ensuing humanitarian disaster was out of hand and the Chinese authorities back then did not have the means to control it. Desperate survivors sold their wives and daughters, while others chose to kill their offspring with their own hands, and there were cases of cannibalism. The water level had reached 53 feet above normal levels.