I’ll see your 150,000 and raise you – same river, 50 years earlier:
– Jan 1888:
“Tho Boang-Ho or Yellow River has overflowed its banks, causing tremendous floods. Several hundred thousand Chinese have been drowned, and fully two millions are homeless and starving.”
Allowing for 50 years of inflation, “several hundred thousand” easily tops 150,000.
1887-88 is definitely the winner (in modern times):
The 1887 Yellow River flood was a devastating flood on the Yellow River (Huang He) in China. This river is prone to flooding due to the elevated nature of the river, running between dykes above the broad plains surrounding it. The flood that began in September 1887 devastated the area, killing some 900,000 people. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded.
However .. according to another item:
“Since historians began keeping records in 602 B.C., the river has changed course 26 times and produced 1,500 floods that have killed millions of people.”
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