Archive for October 12th, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Press Conference: Natural Disasters, January – September 2010

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on Tuesday, reports chinanews.com.cn [via Enorth]. Land and Natural Resources deputy minister Wang Min (汪民, Wāngmín) told the press conference that geological disasters this year had been serious, and that they could be explained with four causes – meteorological and geological factors, earthquakes, and the capabilities to control disasters [the last point apparently pointing to limits on the ability to prevent disasters]. Up to September, 29,000 “geological disasters” occured (or 26,000, as quoted by CNTV), 368 of which had led to injuries and deaths. 2,892 people were dead or missing as a result, and economic damage amounted to 6,26 billion Yuan.

Wang explanatory list included exceptional meteorological factors (特殊的气象因素); geological causes (地质地貌原因) which had featured relatively prominently this year, especially in western mountainous areas; and the aftermath of earthquakes (地震活动的影响), as the 5-12 Wenchuan earthquake of 2008 in particular had added to existing geological instabilities in the belt of Sichuan, southern Shanxi and southern Gansu [the area of southern Gansu, 甘南 or Gānnán, apparently refers to parts of historical Greater TibetJR] . Disaster prevention or relief capabilities were lagging behind the occurences (防治能力的滞后), as the combination of factors experienced this year had rearely been seen before. Even though capabilities had been expanded in recent years, it had been difficult to keep pace with the events.

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Related
‘Grim situation’ at Three Gorges Dam, China Daily, May 24, 2010
Cracks on Li Peng’s Memorial, March 18, 2010
Wenchuan Earthquake and Zipingpu Reservoir, Febr 5, 2009
CNTV English (CCTV Website)

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