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3,000 evacuated after China landslide blocks river

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 8, 2007
More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in southwestern China after a huge landslide dammed a river, creating a menacing lake that threatened to burst, state media reported Monday.

The landslide occurred Friday when an estimated 500,000 cubic metres (18 million cubic feet) of mud and rock tumbled into a river near Guangyuan city in Sichuan province, Xinhua news agency said.

No one was hurt in the landslide, but it created a dam 150 metres (492 feet) long, blocking the river and creating a lake that began to expand as water flowed in, it said.

The lake has submerged about 187 hectares (462 acres) of nearby crop land.

Local authorities began evacuating residents near the site out of fear the landslide dam could collapse at any moment, and have begun work to drain the lake, Xinhua said.

It quoted officials as saying they hope to have the lake drained with two days. The report did not mention the name of the river or what might have triggered the landslide.

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Running Shipwreck Simulations Backwards Helps Identify Dangerous Waves
Ann Arbor MI (SPX) Oct 05, 2007
Big waves in fierce storms have long been the focus of ship designers in simulations testing new vessels. But a new computer program and method of analysis by University of Michigan researchers makes it easy to see that a series of smaller waves---a situation much more likely to occur---could be just as dangerous. "Like the Edmund Fitzgerald that sank in Michigan in 1975, many of the casualties that happen occur in circumstances that aren't completely understood, and therefore they are difficult to design for," said Armin Troesch, professor of naval architecture and marine engineering.

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