The flooding in Jiangxi province last week not only affected the livelihoods of farmers. It has also had a major impact on tourism, a vital source of income for the region. CCTV reporter Zhang Ni reports from Wuyuan county, where tourism is the number one business.
The flooding in Jiangxi province last week not only affected the livelihoods of farmers. It has also had a major impact on tourism, a vital source of income for the region.
It should be the busy season. A time when summer tourists flock to Wuyuan county.
But numbers are down in many villages that are usually packed with tourists, following the heavy floods of last week.
Likeng village has a stream running through it. The floods have made it into a river
Wuyuan resident Mr. Zhu said, "The streets were flooded, we couldn't tell where the river was, or where the roads where. All the tourists couldn't get into the town. We thought the flood would reach the same levels as in 1998. We were all scared."
Some tourists fell foul of the waters.
Dai Xiaobin, Wuyuan County, said, "I tried to warn a lady, but before I reached her, she fell into the water. It was only a few seconds before she was pushed towards me by the water. So I jumped in and saved her."
After the incident, the village was closed to all tourists for two days. A heavy price is already being paid for this natural disaster.
Wang Xiangdong, Manager of Wuyuan Tourism Office, said, "There were supposed to be 60 tourist groups that day. One third canceled their trip. The rest of them could only see a very limited part of the town."
Tourist numbers remain some 30% lower than usual. But it's not the only loss.
In Jiangwan Village, several buildings of historic importance were inundated by water
Jiang Jianyong, V. Gen. Manager of Jiangwan Section of Wuyuan Tourism Office, said, "Our town is famous for ancient Ming and Qing dynasty buildings. The heavy rain damaged the walls and roofs of certain houses.
The repair work is still ongoing, although another round of heavy rainfall is expected in the next few days.
Zhang Ni said, Many locals believe their well-being is closely connected to water. But after being inundated by so much of it, they're starting to think differently. What was once a sign of fortune, is at least for the time being, a misfortune.