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10 August 2009

A dreadful weekend of landslides

The last few days have been a dreadful period for landslides. I really cannot cover all that has happened in enough detail, so all I can do is to outline the main events: 1. Rotorua rockfall, New ZealandActually the period started with a very lucky escape in New Zealand on Thursday when a rockfall on a slope under maintenance crushed a car with two passengers. Both were trapped but were …

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7 August 2009

Update – emergency evacuations below the Dadu River landslide in China

The Chinese language website www.scol.com.cn has some images of the area upstream of the landslide dam at Dadu here. This also links to what appears to be a Chinese language bulletin board here in which people are posting images of the situation. If this is as it seems then this area has serious problems. although reports do seem to indicate that the river is not completely blocked. For example, this …

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26 July 2009

Two recent landslides at hydroelectric sites in China

In the past week China has suffered two rather extraordinary landslide accidents at hydroelectric plants. The first occurred an 20th July 2009 near to the Xiaowan hydroelectric power station in Yunnan province. The dam, shown in the artist’s impression below, will apparently be the world’s tallest arched dam, standing 292 m high when finished. It is still under construction, with the first turbine expected to be operational later this year: …

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23 June 2009

Chongqing landslide rescue update – 23rd June

Xinhua has a video report about the ongoing rescue attempts at the Chongqing landslide site. The report suggests that remotely sensed imagery allowed a number of locations in which the crags in the head scar area were found to be unstable and threatening the rescue teams. To this end, two artillery pieces were brought in and shells were fired at the crags to try to dislodge the unstable sections. This …

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18 June 2009

Chongqing landslide – NASA satellite image

NASA have provided the first decent overview of the Chongqing landslide via a high resolution satellite image. This can be found here. The morphology of this is decidedly odd – I will spend some time trying understand it better. According to the NASA page the source is to the north and the landslide has moved southwards and then spread out to the southwest. Meanwhile, the search for victims continues according …

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16 June 2009

The Chongqing landslide – update 16th June

The latest update on the Chongqing landslide rescue is provided by Xinhua. Key points: Rescue operations continue, with 3,000 people working on site; Ten small-scale landslides have occurred at the landslide site since Friday; southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality from Friday, and rescuers continued to search for 64 missing for the 10th day on Tuesday. The water level in the barrier lake has dropped to 10 m below the top of …

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14 June 2009

The Chongqing landslide – the rescue is probably about to be abandoned

Xinhua is reporting that the rescue at the Chongqing landslide is likely to be abandoned shortly. Given the length of time that has elapsed since the failure the chances of rescuing the miners alive are now very small. More worryingly, there is an increasing risk of further failures at the site: “According to a geologist with the rescue headquarters who declined to be identified, cracks with the span of eight …

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12 June 2009

The latest update on the Chongqing landslide rescue

Xinhua and CCTV have published updates on the Chongqing landslide rescue. The picture is looking increasingly grim given that the estimated survival time of the miners was five to seven days, and it is now a week since the landslide. Highlights of the reports are as follows: Drilling continues but to date no signs of life have been detected. Drilling (or is this tunnel construction – see below) is only …

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11 June 2009

Latest update on the Chongqing landslide

The desperate rescue attempts continue at the site of the Chongqing landslide, but time is now clearly running out for the miners. The heavy lift helicopter, the same one that assisted at Tangjiashan, is now in full operation, and the drilling continues using 20 machines according to this report. The drilling operations have now reached 100 m below the surface and thus have reached the position of the portal. Unfortunately …

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9 June 2009

Chongqing landslide update – 9th June

Image source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/19/20090609/img/pwl-china-landslide-death-9-6f14af6c0f4b.html The latest news from the Chongqing landslide site is as follows: 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; Heavy rain has now reduced to drizzle, but the water depth in the barrier lake increased by a metre in 24 hours; Operations …

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