10 August 2009
Another catastrophic landslide – this time in China
Posted by Dave Petley
As soon as I had posted the round-up of catastrophic landslides below another one appeared on the newswires, this time in Mainland China. Xinhua is reporting that Typhoon Marakot has triggered a landslide in Pengxi Township, Taishun County in Zhejiang Province, burying half a dozen apartment blocks:
“A massive landslide occurred in an eastern Chinese town Monday night, causing six or seven apartment buildings to collapse and burying an unknown number of residents, local authorities said Tuesday. The accident took place at about 10:30 p.m. in Pengxi Township, Taishun County of Wenzhou City in Zhejiang Province, when the unexpected landslide soon destroyed the 4-story apartment buildings at the foot of a mountain, rescuers said. Rescuers have pulled six people alive from the debris, but one of them is in critical condition. It is not immediately known how many people were buried, rescuers said, adding that it is very difficult for them to carry out search operation due to a huge amount of mud and rock. The landslide was triggered by continuous torrential rain brought by Typhoon Morakot, which has left six people dead and three others missing on the Chinese mainland after a powerful landing in east China Sunday. “
Tens of thousands evacuated due to landslide dam…New from Xingua: CHENGDU, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — Four more bodies have been retrieved over the past three days from the site of a massive landslide in southwest China's Sichuan Province that had killed two, injured 18 and left another 29 missing, rescuers said late Monday. But rescuers have yet to identify whether the newly-found bodies were new deaths or among the 29 missing. The bodies are now kept at a local funeral home The disaster occurred at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday in Shunhe Township, Hanyuan County, Ya'an City. It damaged 10 vehicles, inundated eight homes and disrupted traffic on provincial highway 306. The landslide debris formed a 250-meter-long blockage on the Dadu River. By 3:30 a.m. Friday, the water had overrun the obstruction. The provincial government has ordered the evacuation of tens of thousands of people living in the lower reaches of the river to avoid further casualties. Most of the victims were migrant workers making train transfers after arriving at the Wusihe station on the K117 Beijing-Panzhihua train, the Hanyuan county government said. Five people who had been stranded by rising water levels upstream of the landslide have been rescued. The massive search and rescue operation continues.
Different Slide with the same cause, but good news in this case: Taiwan mudslide hundreds 'alive'. I had read about this last night, and grieved a little, but when numbers of this size are tossed around, in a far-removed part of the world, it's hard to really comprehend a whole village being wiped out. So this is a wonderful, and quite unexpected outcome.Also, if you haven't already seen it, The Big Picture has a gallery of photos of this typhoon. Several pictures depict landslides.