The number of geological disasters in China in the first half of the year is nearly ten-fold more than that in the same period of last year, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said, citing an official.
Landslides triggered by heavy rain has ravaged Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces since the beginning of August, and the Ministry of Land had declared the highest level national emergency response system three times within just one month.
The disasters are mostly due to a dramatic change of global climate and more severe tectonic activities, Minister of Land and Resources Xu Shaoshi said.
All of the several recent disasters are hard to detect, with nature of sudden and devastating, he added.
A total of 26,009 geological disasters happen during January ~ July period, of which, there were 19,101 landslides, 4,756 collapses, 911 mudslides, 332 ground failures, 161 ground fissures, and three land subsidence.
843 people were dead or missing during 246 deadly disasters, causing a direct economic loss of 3.344 billion yuan.
From 1999 to 2008, the Ministry of Land and Resources had conducted investigations on geological disasters, identifying 240,000 sites in mountainous areas that prone to be hit by disasters. One third of the disasters happened this year, however, are not included in the warning sites, Xu said.