Monday, December 21, 2015

Safety Risks Contributed to Shenzhen Landslide, Chinese Reports Say - The New York Times

A mountain of excavation earth and debris collapsed in Shenzhen, crushing buildings and killing many. China's code enforcement is often weak. And as I argued last weak in a lecture in Shanghai, its courts do not have adequate systems for managing mass disasters.
The central government will probably step in ~ with some compensation scheme. Those who dumped the debris and perhaps local officials will face prosecution, and perhaps the firing squad.
But the bigger need is stronger codes and enforcement agencies. Genuinely contested elections might help too. ~GWC
Safety Risks Contributed to Shenzhen Landslide, Chinese Reports Say - The New York Times
by Austin Ramzy
HONG KONG — As rescuers searched Monday for survivors of a catastrophic landslide in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, a series of failures and ignored warnings that contributed to the disaster began to emerge.
The Ministry of Land and Resources said the landslide that destroyed at least 33 buildings on Sunday was caused by the collapse not of a hillside but of a sodden mountain of dirt and construction debris in an industrial area. At least 91 people were missing as of early Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The rain-soaked material had built up for nearly two years at the site of a former quarry, Xinhua said, citing residents there.
China’s rapid construction of new buildings, and the short life of many of those structures, have long created problems with unregulated dumping of construction waste. Often the result is illegal, multistory piles of debris that appear on the outskirts of cities, creating problems with dust and flooding because of blocked waterways.
The landslide on Sunday appears to have been one of the most destructive episodes yet connected with the practice. The destroyed buildings included at least three worker dormitories, and an unknown number of people may still be buried.

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