Beijing (UPI) Aug 23, 2010
China has been hit by 26,000 geological disasters in the first 7 months of this year, a government official said.
That's nearly 10 times the number of occurrences during the same period last year.
China's Minister of Land and Resources Xu Shaoshi said the disasters, including landslides and mudslides, were due to an increase in extreme weather conditions such as severe droughts and rainstorms, as well as the impact from earthquakes, Press Trust of India reports.
Xu rejected criticism attributing the country's disasters to hydropower plants China has built along major rivers, particularly Three Gorges, the world's largest and most expensive dam. Its construction involved the submersion of 1,350 villages and the displacement of 1.3 million people from their homes.
For months, China has been grappling with severe flooding in different parts of the country, triggered by a successive series of heavy rainstorms, resulting in the worst landslides to hit the country in 60 years.
Earlier this month, at least 1,400 people were killed and another 330 were missing in the northwest province of Gansu from massive mudslides.
In southwest China's Yunnan Province, 29 people were killed and 63 are missing following rain-triggered mudslides that hit the remote mountainous town of Gongshan last Wednesday.
Mudslides also killed more than 18 people in Wenchuan and Qingchuan counties in southwest China's Sichuan, an area which was devastated by a massive earthquake in 2008.
Over the weekend, torrential rains in North China flooded the Yalu River on the border of China and North Korea.
By Saturday night, the water level at a monitoring station in Dandong City rose 7.7 feet above the warning mark, the highest level in 10 years and the second highest since 1949, the Beijing Times said.
Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from the city, which serves as a crucial trading point between the two countries.
An additional 30,000 people were evacuated from outlying regions where the river had burst its banks in 158 different places.
The Korean Central News Agency reported that at least 5,000 people were evacuated in Sinuiju, with parts of the city "completely inundated."
Unlike seismic activity used to predict earthquakes, existing scientific methods cannot predict a landslide or mudslide, said Zhang Zuochen, a geologist with China University of Geosciences, the Press Trust reports.
"We can only predict that a gully is vulnerable to a mudslide and that the disaster will occur under specific circumstances. But we cannot predict when it will occur," Zhang said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Karachi (AFP) Aug 23, 2010
Authorities in Pakistan were battling on Monday to save a city in the flood-devastated southern province of Sindh after a mass evacuation as floodwaters threatened to wreak further havoc. The near month-long floods have killed 1,500 people and affected up to 20 million nationwide in the country's worst natural disaster, with the threat of disease ever-present in the miserable camps shelterin ... read more
Chilean miners' rescue operation to last months|
New Orleans police still pay for Katrina sins 5 years on
UN to meet on Pakistan aid, 4.6 million without shelter
'Terrorists' cannot be allowed to exploit floods: Pakistan
Smartphones to make up over half of Asian sales by 2015
Japan's Panasonic to boost plasma panel output in China
"Fahrenheit 451" author burns at idea of digital books
Safer Plastics That Lock In Potentially Harmful Plasticizers
Great Barrier Reef had predecessor
Massive Coral Mortality Following Bleaching In Indonesia
Slowing Urban Sprawl, Adding Forests Curb Floods And Help Rivers
How Algae 'Enslavement' Threatens Freshwater Bodies
Resolving The Paradox Of The Antarctic Sea Ice
Indonesian Ice Field May Be Gone In A Matter Of Years
Puzzle of Antarctic ice solved?
Giant Greenland iceberg a climate 'warning sign'
Potash formally rejects BHP bid, says exploring other offers
Drought costs Russia one billion dollars in crop losses
Drought lowers world plant productivity
Greenhouse Gas Calculator Connects Farming Practices With Carbon Credits
Pakistan president warns flood recovery could take years
Danielle hits hurricane strength in Atlantic
China cleans up after flooding by N.Korea border
Floods add to China's geological disasters
Somali peacekeepers may boost troops
South Africa's Zuma visits key partner China to boost ties
Congolese army says two arrested over Indian UN slayings
Guinea-Bissau "ashamed" of incompetent image: president
Mother Of All Humans Lived 200,000 Years Ago
Humans Trump Nature On Texas River
Growing Up Without Sibs Doesn't Hurt Social Skills
Oldest Evidence Of Stone Tool Use And Meat-Eating Among Human Ancestors
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal 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. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|