On May 22nd, a sinkhole appeared near a busy intersection in Ruijin, a city in the Jiangxi privince of southeast China. Four cars and a tree fell into the sinkhole. Luckily, the cars were unoccupied and nobody was injured. The cause of this sinkhole is under investigation.
Early in the morning on Friday, July 1st, a landslide occurred in the Guizhou Province of China trapping 30 people under debris. As of Sunday, all missing persons were accounted for. Unfortunately, 23 people were killed while the remaining 7 were transported to local hospitals in serious condition but are expected to survive.
The landslide was caused by heavy rainfall in the area. Much of China has experienced greater than average rainfall this year. Just last week a hurricane-force storm killed 98 people in Jiangsu Province.
Soldiers and rescue workers were dispached to the Guizhou Province to search for those lost in the landslide. Now that everyone is accounted for, reconstruction and repair of the area has begun. Over 95,000 cubic meters of material was moved by the landslide which covered 19,000 square meters. Over 120,000 people were displaced due to the size of the landslide.
Last week, widespread flooding in the Yangtze river basin in China has left over 170 dead and millions homeless. The area has received record rainfall this year, causing the Yangtze river and its tributaries to swell, flooding nearby areas. Some of the most severe flooding has occurred near the city of Wuhan which has a population over 8 million.
Over the preceding week, the area experienced 22.6 inches of rainfall with 18 of that being within a four day period. More than 40,000 homes have been destroyed by the flood water and 1.5 million people have been evacuated from areas along the Yangtze River. Nearly 170,000 people have been relocated in the city of Wuhan alone. The heavy rainfall has caused several landslides including one in Xinjiang killing 35 people and leaving more missing.
In addition to the danger to the population, the flooding has caused a significant economic toll on the country. Agriculture is one of the predominant industries of the area and over 700,000 acres of crops were destroyed by the floods. The high water and landslides have also caused significant damage to infrastructure such as the communication and electrical networks. Estimates of economic losses are already surpassing 5.73 billion dollars.
This isn't the first time this area of China has experience heavy flooding. In 2013, the Chinese government pledged to spend $2 million on repair and upgrading the country's flood protection and prevention systems including drainage pipes and channels. Many believe that the government did not deliver on this promise.
China is not the only country impacted by these events. Pakistan has experienced monsoon rains and flash flooding killing over 30 people in Chitral near the China-Pakistan border.
Motorists in the Yunnan Province in southern China narrowly avoided being buried or swept off the road by a landslide on Wednesday. The driver noticed a disturbance upon the slope above while driving and reversed his car out of the path of debris. He recorded the video with his phone. Watch below!
The heavy rain that has plagued China this year continues and more areas are experiencing flooding as a result. In the Hunan Province, there were several landslides on Monday that caused significant damage and swept away houses and other buildings in Morong.
Three months ago, we wrote about the progress of construction of China’s Record- Breaking Glass Bridge. This bridge opened to the public on August 20thattracting many visitors, but thirteen days later was closed.
On Monday, October 11, 2016 a complex of residential buildings in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province of China collapsed killing 22 people! Recent surveys show the buildings had several structural deficiencies and hadn't been inspected by engineers lately. Further investigations are underway.
Nine people were buried in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province in Eastern China after a residence complex collapsed on the morning of Thursday Feb. 2, and seven of them have been reported dead. The building’s poor construction was probably the reason for the collapse, as there had been no reports of extreme weather in the area over the last days. Next to the collapsed apartments still stands a residential building seeming relatively intact, which forces the rescuers to work carefully. More than 400 people were involved in rescue efforts, including soldiers, police, fire rescue personnel, and medical staff.
In the last twenty years, China’s urban population has more than doubled and aggressive development in the cities was necessary in order to host more people. However, the massive urbanization resulted in thousands of historic sites and buildings being destroyed, to make way for roads and reservoirs. But gradually, instead of demolishing these structures, the practice of relocation began to gain ground, and nowadays it is a common procedure in the Asian country, with a whole industry behind it. The buildings are either disassembled from roof tile to foundation and rebuilt in a new position, or moved to it on rails.