Experts: Gansu mudslides had 4 causes

15:45, August 09, 2010      

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Based on preliminary investigations, experts believe there were four causes of the rain-triggered landslides in Zhouqu County, northwestern China's Gansu Province early Sunday morning, according to news from on Monday.

First, the local topography and special geological structure was an important factor leading to the disaster. Experts believe the rock of Zhouqu County is soft and easily broken. It has also been badly weathered and is prone to landslide, collapse and mud and rock slides.

Second, the impact of the Wenchuan earthquake was one of the key reasons. Zhouqu County was one of the regions worst hit by the Wenchuan earthquake, which led to the mountain rocks becoming loose and easily broken. The loose rocks caused by the earthquake need three to five years to be restored, but now it has been only more than two years since the earthquake.

Third, the ongoing drought in Zhouqu from last year resulted in the disintegration of rock and parts of the mountain and cracks of rocks were exposed to the air. So the water easily permeated the rock, which led to landslides.

Fourth, the heavy rainfall on Saturday night lasted over 40 minutes and rainfall reached more than 90 millimeters, which caused landslides and was the direct cause of the disaster.

Currently, experts and workers are investigating the hidden danger of geological disasters to prevent this from happening again.

By Liang Jun, People's Daily Online


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