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Over the past summer regions of China have also experienced intense heat waves with eastern China setting a record of 40.8 C (105.4 F).  Russia (Northern Siberia) has also had harsh rises in temperature over the summer.  In China, cities such as Shanghai were particularly vulnerable.  These images taken from the NASA Earth Observatory show the concentrations of the heat wave in different parts of China.

china heat wave

temp bar

NASA Earth Observatory

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Over the last few days Central China has been experiencing exceptionally heavy monsoon rainfall, causing very high levels of damage.  The TRMM data for landslide potential for the last seven days of rainfall highlights the areas considered likely to be affected by landslides (and note that there are also substantial parts of N. India and Nepal that are experiencing problems:

china

Unfortunately, the worst of the rainfall appears to have affected the areas struck by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan Province.  This is a zone that remains very vulnerable to landslides because of the legacy of the seismic even, compounded by inappropriate development in the rush to rebuild after the earthquake.  The effects have been disastrous.  The largest impact to date is the landslide  at Sanxi in the area administered by Dujiangyan City, which is reported to have killed 12 people whilst a further 11 are missing, with very limited chances of survival.  The landslide is reportedly very large, with a travel distance of 2 km and a volume of 1.5 million cubic metres. Read the rest of this entry »

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From the ‘When the Shaking Stops’ workshop, Prof Li Jing of Beijing Normal University and National Disaster Committee, gives his presentation on disaster response in China.  He also focuses on reconstruction efforts after the Wenchuan earthquake.

The Gansu province in northwest China experienced a massive landslide caused by flooding.  The landslide engulfed Zhouqu county:

“Torrential rains began to fall at around 10pm Saturday, then there were landslides and the power of the county was cut,” Diemujiangteng, head of the county, told Xinhua [News in China]. “The water of the Bailong River then flowed into the county seat and many people were trapped. Now the sludge has become the biggest problem to rescue operations. It’s too thick to walk or drive through.”  The Guardian Read more

Landslide in Hanyuan County, China (AP-Xinhua, Jian Hongjing)

The landslide that occurred in Huayuan County, China in the Southern Province of Sichuan yesterday morning is one of a number of hazards that has plagued the country since it has experienced its worst flood season in over a decade.  A landslide from Ermanshan Mountain engulfed the Shuange village where three survivors were rescued, including an 80-year-old according to the BBC.   About 4,000 villagers were evacuated from their homes and 21 people have been reported missing since Tuesday morning. Read more

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