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Chinese Mudslides Contain Lessons In Survival

August 30, 2010 by  

Chinese mudslides contain lessons in survival Earlier this month, devastating mudslides hit northwest China’s Gansu province leaving some 1,500 people dead. As classes resumed for primary- and middle-school students today, experts have called for a careful and systematic approach to rebuilding efforts.

Wu Faquan, director of Engineering Geomechanics Lab at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua news agency that better planning in mudslide-prone zones could prevent future disasters.

"Local geological conditions should be reassessed and the risks of natural disasters reviewed before drawing up plans for reconstruction," he said, quoted by the news provider.

Mudslides are also a danger, although on a smaller scale, in the mountainous regions of the U.S., where they are estimated to kill 25 to 50 people every year.

However, there are many ways to protect households from this type of danger.

The Emergency Survival Information Center recommends refraining from building houses near steep slopes, close to mountain edges, near drainage ways or natural erosion valleys. Individuals who live in such areas are advised to get a ground assessment of their property and consult a professional about possible corrective measures.

A person caught in a landslide should move away from the path of the mud, earth or debris flow as quickly as possible. If escape is not possible, it is best to curl into a tight ball to protect the head, safety and survival experts say.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19930983-ADNFCR

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  • 45caliber

    Such building codes and systems can only work if the inspectors make sure they are used.

    There was a school in Turkey a couple of years ago that collapsed in a minor earthquake, killing dozens of kids. When they inspected the ruins they found the contractor who had built the school had left out all the reinforcing bars needed to make the concrete strong. The inspector had been paid off.

  • 45caliber

    The best way to stay out of mud slides is to not build near an area where one could occur. Another help not mentioned above is to make sure the slope is tied down with roots of trees, etc. Too many times the landowner cuts all the trees down to give himself a better view. Grass will only hold down the very top but not if the water sinks past its roots.

  • http://gmail i41

    Even worse is building on flood plains and beside live water and sea shores. Just like in Calforny, cann’t figure why the get mud slides, fires, and flloded canyons, DUH, don’t live in these senic areas and if you dinks want to pay the costs, either in lives, property and the cost of moving material for barriers. Thanks to all the envior smucks and protects the Kal iforatining Turd Bird Society of the socialist democrat party. Shut up and swim, dig, or get the hell out the way.

  • John R.

    You have to understand the topography of China to get a full grasp of the tremendous challenge the Chinese face. Their entire western region is made of steep, and I mean very steep, mountains. It’s a zone where the Asian tectonic plate meets the European plate. From Tibet all the way to Chongqing it’s narly steeps with river valley’s scattered in between.
    The earthquakes are frequent and the land is always loose and eroding. Landslides often mean entire rivers get blocked and choked off. The water rises and creates barrier lakes that eventually bust sending tidal waves of debris strewn waters crashing downward.
    It’s an extreme land that will need extreme measures to control it.

  • bill beayor

    ding dong ditch it maaaan!

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