China identifies 16,000 disaster-prone areas

By Pang Li
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, August 20, 2010
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A study by China Institute for Geo-Environmental Monitoring (CIGEM) showed that China has located 200,000 geological disaster-prone areas by the end of 2009, Southern Weekend newspaper reported.

Landslides triggered by torrential rainsĀ hit northwest China's Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province, on Aug. 8, 2010, leaving more than 1,000 dead. [file photo]

Among them, 16,000 places are likely to be hit by catastrophic disasters like the one that hit Zhouqu County, Gansu Province, and put 7 million lives at stake. They are mainly scattered throughout Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Chongqing, Gansu, Shaanxi, Hunan and Hubei, said Zhou Pinggen from CIGEM.

According to the China Geological Hazard Bulletin released by the Ministry of Land and Resources, 19,552 geological disasters have ravaged China in the first half of this year, 10 times more than in the same period of last year. They have claimed 326 lives, made 138 people missing and caused financial losses of 1.86 billion yuan (US$274 million). Zhou said that extreme weather is to be blamed for the high frequency of disasters but that booming construction of projects, such as hydropower stations, highways and railways, are another main cause.

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