Large landslide blocks a river in Chongqing, more than 500 residents flee, China


A landslide blocked a river in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, local authorities reported on Sunday, July 26, 2020. This formed a barrier lake that threatened nearby townships and a power station, prompting more than 500 residents to flee their homes.

A rain-induced landslide measuring about 1.3 million cubic m (46 million cubic feet) formed a barrier lake on the Yancang River, a tributary of Wujiang River in Liujing village, Wulong District.

Officials said about 520 local residents have been evacuated so far, and that the landslide body is currently unstable.

The situation threatens nearby townships and a power station, according to Xinhua News Agency.

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In an analysis by Dr. Dave Petley of The Landslide Blog, it was stated that the recent displacement is large in the upper reaches of the landslide.

"The displacement of the road appears to be in excess of 20 m (66 feet)." The estimated volume of the landslide "would seem to be about right to me," he continued.

"Interestingly though, the blockage of the valley is being caused not this part of the landslide, but by a more active flow on the true left (i.e. the left side when facing downslope) of the landslide."

Thus, Petley said only a small portion of the landslide is causing the valley-blockage, noting that if a greater part would become more active, a much bigger barrier may develop.

About a week ago, a massive landslide blocked the Qingjiang River in Hubei, a tributary of the Yangtze River in the Enshi Tukia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture.

It also resulted in a barrier lake that threatened many residents, prompting 8 000 to evacuate. 

Featured image credit: Chongqing International Communication Center


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