This blog provides commentary on interesting geological events occurring around the world in the context of my own work. This work is, broadly, geological fluid dynamics. The events that I highlight here are those that resonate with my professional life and ideas, and my goal is to interpret them in the context of ideas I've developed in my research. The blog does not represent any particular research agenda. It is written on a personal basis and does not seek to represent the University of Illinois, where I am a professor of geology and physics. Enjoy Geology in Motion! I would be glad to be alerted to geologic events of interest to post here! I hope that this blog can provide current event materials that will make geology come alive.

Banner image is by Ludie Cochrane..

Susan Kieffer can be contacted at s1kieffer at gmail.com

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Natural disasters in China, 2010

Mudslide in Zhouqu county,
northwest Gansu province, Aug. 9, 2010
Photo possibly from MSNBC
Today (January 27) China announced the allocation of 1.039 billion yuan ($157 million U.S. Dollars) to areas hit by natural disasters in 2010. This is in addition to 4.1 billion yuan ($617 million U.S. dollars) allocated in November to help the survivors of the disasters get through the winter.  A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Yushu killing 2200 people, and a mudslide in Zhouqu left 1700 people dead or missing. There are good posts on the mudslides and floods on Dave Petley's Landslide blog.

It has been estimated by the Disaster Emergency Management in China that natural disasters affect 200 million people every year, and that they are one restricting factor on social and economic development (reference here). These are typically floods and associated landslides, earthquakes and famines.  The deadliest flood, and possibly deadliest natural disaster, of all times were the 1931 floods in China, with estimated deaths ranging from 2,000,000 to 4,000,000.  The 1976 Tangshan earthquake killed between 242,419-779,000 people (I love the number of significant figures in that statistic!).  

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