10 February 2016

Fude Village, China: six killed in a rockslide

Posted by Dave Petley

Fude Village rockslide

Early on Monday morning a rockslide occurred at Fude Village in Du’an Yao Autonomous County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in the south of China.  The Chinese news agency Xinhua has a report and images off the landslide, which it describes as follows:

The emergency response office in Du’an Yao Autonomous County under Hechi city received information at 3:25 a.m. Monday that a two-story building in Fude village collapsed in a landslide.  Lan Min [a] villager, was sleeping when the accident happened. He was woke up by a loud noise, which he mistook as fireworks at first.  “But then I felt the house was shaking,” he recalled. “I thought it was an earthquake and told my family to rush out.”  When they stopped, they looked back, seeing Lan Huajing’s house entirely destroyed, and a wall of their own house damaged by stones.


This Xinhua image shows both the source of the landslide and the track, together with the house that the debris struck:

Fude village landslide

The rockslide that killed six people in Fude village, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China on Monday 8th February 2016. Image via Xinhua


There are a couple of things that are interesting here.  First, the location of the original rockfall is clear.  The volume of the debris at the toe of the slope looks to be substantial (although some may originate from earlier rockfall events), suggesting that the landslide entrained other debris en route down the slope.  Second, note that the scar from the source of the rockfall is heavily discoloured compared with the freshly fractured rock downslope.  This suggests that the rockfall originated from a pre-existing joint or fracture.  The news reports suggest that this was not triggered by rainfall.

The deaths occurred in a single property that was impacted by the debris.  The damage to the house is dreadful:

Fude village rockslide

The house destroyed by the rockslide at Fude village Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. Image via Xinhua