Environment

Large landslide blocks a river in southwest China


A large landslide hit Bolo Township of Tibet’s Qamdo, on the border between Sichuan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China, on Thursday, October 11, 2018, blocking a section of Jinsha River. Water levels sharply rose and returned to normal late Sunday. However, landslides are still taking place and there are fears a second barrier lake will soon form.

As of 15:00 local time, October 11, the barrier lake had about 100 million m3 (38.6 mi3) of water. At its peak, the lake had about 200 million m3.

The scale of the landslide is vast, Qamdo authorities said, adding that over 10 000 Qamdo residents have been evacuated on the first day. The number rose to over 24 000 over the next few days.

Lake levels returned to normal late October 14 after water from the upper stream burst through the blockade. State media reported no casualties.


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The China National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Emergency Management jointly activated a level-IV emergency response, the lowest level, at 15:00 LT, October 11.

Several villages were affected after water rushed through the blockade, SCMP reports. 

“We are still hearing landslides coming from the mountains, making it a possibility for a second barrier lake to form,” Wang Wu of Tibet military command of Qamdo said. 

A new road has been built to transport disaster relief supplies to the township, local authorities said October 16.

Before its completion, disaster relief supplies were transported in small quantities to the township by ships.

Featured image credit: SCMP



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