2 November 2008

Landslide disaster in Yunnan, China

Posted by Dave Petley

Xinhua, the Chinese Official news agency, is reporting a series of landslide disasters in Yunnan Province, China this weekend:

“Twenty people died and 42 were missing after landslides and mud-rock flows hit southwest China’s Yunnan Province over the weekend, said local authorities. The disasters hit Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, and four counties and a district of the provincial capital Kunming, the provincial civil affairs department said. More than 1,000 houses collapsed or were damaged in the disasters. Tents, quilts and clothes were being transported to the areas. The casualties and damages were also being assessed.

Mud-rock flows are debris flows.

The worst landslide appears to have occurred close to Chuxiong City, where Reuters (and others) are reporting 15 deaths and 34 people missing. It is unclear at the moment whether this is a single location or whether there have been multiple flows.

Interestingly, the TRMM have identified this as an area in danger of landslides today, as this image shows: