Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Dozens still missing in China landslide as hopes fade
By Johannes Eisele
Shenzhen, China (AFP) Dec 22, 2015

Rescuers struggled to claw away a massive mound of mud engulfing an industrial district in China on Tuesday in a desperate bid to find survivors among 76 missing people following a landslide that occurred despite multiple warnings.

Hopes for those still missing in the mud were fading Tuesday evening, almost three days after the landslide, even as heavy machinery raked through thousands of tonnes of soil and rubble that buried factories and residential buildings.

The government revised the number of missing down from 81 to 76 after contacting some of the unaccounted for, officials said during a press conference Tuesday. A body discovered the same morning remained the first and only confirmed death.

The latest in a series of fatal accidents in the world's most populous country, the tragedy in Shenzhen came only months after almost 200 people died in a massive chemical blast in the port city of Tianjin.

The mudslide was caused by the improper storage of waste soil from construction sites, according to the official newspaper of the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Soil was illegally stored in heaps 100 metres (330 feet) high at an old quarry site and turned to mud during rain Sunday morning, according to the Global Times, afflated with Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily.

Documents on the web site of the Guangming New District, where the landslide occurred, show that authorities were aware of problems with the storage and had urged action as early as this July.

In an announcement dated July 10, officials said that work at the site was not being carried out according to approved plans and ordered the Hongao Construction Waste Dump to "speed up" work to bring its operations into line.

The government issued a second warning in September, noting that the dump's permit to receive waste had expired and authorities had made it clear that dumping should cease.

The city had "pointed out problems at the site and requested steps to correct them", the statement said.

Commenters on China's popular Weibo microgblogging voiced fury over the apparent failings.

"The lack of safety supervision and passive attitude in taking precautions has caused the whole nation to shake with anger and shocked the world!" user Xizidan wrote in a post that was taken down by authorities, but found on the censorship tracking website Weiboscope.

The post said people were angry over accidents including the blasts at Tianjin in August, the sinking of a ferry on the Yangtze river in June that killed more than 400, and a stampede in Shanghai last New Year's Eve that left over 30 dead.

"Through man-made disasters, we're continually using other people's lives to achieve progress in society," another post said, echoing a common complaint that China's rapid economic growth has been achieved at the expense of many of its people.

- 'Waves of earth' -

At the disaster zone, volunteers hoping to help search for bodies said chances were slim for survivors.

"I don't think there will be a chance (to save anybody), because it has been some time (since the landslide), and it is dirt and sand," said one woman who gave her name as Qin.

Emergency workers were Tuesday using diggers in an effort to clear the mud. Many had spent the night on the site.

People who saw the Sunday morning landslide described "huge waves" of red earth and mud racing towards the industrial park, burying or crushing homes and factories.

Drone footage showed how the mud had swept through and over buildings and tossed aside trucks like toys.

Around 900 people were moved out of harm's way before the landslide struck. Four people have been rescued, of whom three had minor injuries.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Senegalese migrant with thirst for improving lives
Diawara, Senegal (AFP) Dec 18, 2015
When mathematician Lassana Koita left the "thirst zone" of Senegal to make his way in the world, he never forgot his duty to give something back to his beloved homeland. Nine years later, enjoying a successful civil aviation career in his adoptive France, he has returned, brimming with pride over a water project he and other migrants helped build that is changing lives. "I went to primar ... read more

Rescuers race against time after China landslide leaves 85 missing

China landslide leaves 59 missing, sparks gas explosion: Xinhua

Senegalese migrant with thirst for improving lives

Nepal passes long-delayed bill on quake rebuilding

Turning rice farming waste into useful silica compounds

Modeling microstructures in polycrystalline materials

Hybrid material presents potential for 4-D-printed adaptive devices

The artificial materials that came in from the cold

Spread of algal toxin through marine food web broke records in 2015

Phytoplankton like it hot

Growth potential remains at risk on even the most remote coral reefs

Our water pipes crawl with millions of bacteria

Greenland Ice Sheet during the 20th Century

Two killed, several injured in Norway Arctic avalanche

Ancient 4-flippered reptile flapped like a penguin

North Slope permafrost thawing sooner than expected

Scientists peg Anthropocene to first farmers

Red palm weevils can fly 50 kilometers in 24 hours

Plants use a molecular clock to predict when they'll be infected

Will grassland soil weather a change?

Death toll rises to 45 in storm-hit Philippines

New storm approaches Philippines after typhoon kills 20

Flood rescues as Philippine typhoon death toll climbs to 11

Typhoon kills 4 in Philippines, cuts power ahead of Christmas

U.K. to increase support for Nigerian armed forces to fight Boko Haram

Tanzania jails 4 Chinese for 20 yrs for smuggling rhino horns

Jihadist fears spark travel warning at Burkina nature park

Nigeria commutes troops' death sentences for refusing to face Boko Haram

Scientists say face mites evolved alongside humans

Chitchat and small talk could serve an evolutionary need to bond with others

Humans evolved to get better sleep in less time

Research differentiates facial growth in Neanderthals and modern humans

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement