China as a country in the far eastern side of the Asian continent is prone to many natural and man-made disasters. In the recent past, it has topped in disaster occurrences in the world with rise in the death toll and destruction of properties. China has an occurrence of six of disasters in the world which are classified as deadly due to their severe consequences.
Among this top six disasters, the leading three affected China leading to deaths calculated to be in millions of people (CRED, 2009, para.4). Historically, the China floods of 1931 had the greatest death toll of over 2 million people followed by the Yellow River floods of 1887 which had a death toll of over 0.9 million. Thirdly, the Shaanxi earthquake which occurred in 1556 claimed 0.83 million lives. The frequency of occurrence of disasters in China has hindered both economic and social development of the country due to the resulting consequences. This has posed a challenge to the government of China in its effort to alleviate poverty mostly in the rural populations and in highly populated provinces. Efforts have been put in maintaining a data base for the disaster prone areas by organizations like International Disease Database (EM-DAT) and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. This data helps in identifying the most disaster prone areas so as efforts are enhanced to reduce the risks involved therefore mitigating the hazard (CRED, 2009, para. 3-6).