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Mudslide in Yunnan; Beijing issues local advisory

Beijing Times, August 19, 2010

Puladi, a village in Yunnan Province, was hit by a mudslide early in the morning of August 18. One death has been reported and ninety people are still missing.

China just observed a national day of mourning for the victims of landslides and floods that struck Zhouqu, Gansu Province on August 8.

Today's Beijing Times announced the news in a sidebar headline, but like many of the city's newspapers, it devoted more attention to an advisory about mudslides in Beijing's outer districts.

Yesterday, the Municipal Land and Resources Bureau and Meteorological Bureau issued a level-3 geological disaster advisory for Mentougou, Fangshan, Huairou, Miyun, and Pinggu. Heavy rains in the area have increased the likelihood of landslides and mudslides over the next three days.

And the China Daily reported today on a conference that discussed the possibility of continued natural disasters in China's southwest over the next few years:

Meeting participants said the quake zone would witness a high incidence of geological hazards three to five years after the magnitude-8.0 Wenchuan earthquake, which killed nearly 90,000.

Geologist Xu Qiang from the Chengdu University of Technology said that of all the hazards, mudslides would be the most dangerous threat to the quake zone.

The quake has caused the fragmentation of massifs, which are large blocks of the earth's crust that are isolated by boundary faults and have shifted as units. Due to excessive rainfall this year, they will fall and cause mudslides, he said.

Hazards brought about by the earthquake could last more than a decade, according to Qiao Jianping, a researcher with the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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