9 June 2009

Chongqing landslide update – 9th June

Posted by Dave Petley

The latest news from the Chongqing landslide site is as follows:

  1. Attempts to build a tunnel to the trapped miners continue. The heavy lift helicopter is now in operation. Electric cables and a generator have been installed to provide power to the ongoing operations;
  2. Heavy rain has now reduced to drizzle, but the water depth in the barrier lake increased by a metre in 24 hours;
  3. Operations to create a channel to drain the lake continue. The image above appears to show the barrier lake in the background;
  4. The rescue teams are using sandbags to try to prevent water from the barrier lake entering the mine – this would of course be disastrous for the trapped miners.
  5. Satellite imagery was expected to be available from today (I would like to see this!). Meanwhile, monitoring points have been established to provide warning of any further landslides.

Time must be running out for the miners, but it sounds as if the Chinese are undertaking a huge effort to rescue them.

Meanwhile, some additional pieces of background information have been published in China Daily:

  • The iron ore mine, which was called Sanlian, produced only 100 tonnes per day. This is very low.
  • A similar accident occurred 0n 30th April 1994, creating a landslide deposit that blocked the river;
  • Two days before the accident rockfalls were observed from the slope;
  • The local authorities warned the villagers about the potential for a landslide in 2003. They were offered 5,000 yuan (c.¬£450 or 520 Euros) to move. Most villagers refused to leave.