3 March 2023
Planet images of the Alxa League coal mine landslide
My friends at Planet have very kindly acquired a high resolution (SkySat) image of the 22 February 2023 landslide at a coal mine at Alxa League in China. Typically, of course, this event has effectively disappeared from the news, even in China – I can find no real updates on the recovery operations since the call for improvements in coal mine safety on 25 February.
This is the SkySat image, collected on 28 February 2023, that captures the mine site and the landslide:-
The image below provides more detail of the landslide itself:-
The crown of the landslide is to the north, so the landslide has moved towards the foot of the image. The imagery captures the scale of the landslide and the large boulders that it contains. A haul road has been built across the landslide toe, and there is some evidence of attempts to excavate the toe on the eastern side. Overall, though, the image does not indicate a huge amount of excavation, which may suggest that attempts to recover the remains of those lost have been fruitless.
For reference, this is the site of the landslide, as captured in a SkySat image on 23 November 2022:0
At this point there was no obvious indication of the development of a developing slope failure. The huge amount of equipment at the toe of the slope is notable though.
I have tried to create a slider that should allow the two images to be compared:
This landslide highlights the continued hazards associated with poorly regulated mining activities worldwide. These types of landslides should not be causing large-scale loss of life.
Acknowledgement and reference
Many thanks once again to the wonderful team at Planet. Their kindness is remarkable.
Planet Team (2023). Planet Application Program Interface: In Space for Life on Earth. San Francisco, CA. https://www.planet.com/