Search for Landslide Survivors Continues in China

Of all natural disasters, landslides are often considered to be the worst seeing as they are almost impossible to predict, and because they begin and end in a matter of seconds, destroying and engulfing just about anything in their paths. Surviving a landslide is less about expertise, and more about planning ahead and avoiding any and all areas where the danger of a landslide is present.

In China last week, days of heavy rain prompted many landslides. One particular landslide, which occurred in the village of Lidong in Zhejiang Province, has claimed more than 20 lives. The death toll is still on the rise, too, as rescuers struggle to sift through the landslide’s aftermath. Being that rain continued to fall even in the wake of the natural disaster, the village remains almost entirely inaccessible from the ground as rampant flooding has cut off major access points. The weather has continued to not cooperate too, and the overall situation is only growing grimmer and grimmer. Unlike rubble such as rocks and stones, the aftermath of a landslide is much more difficult for rescuers to pick through, because the mud and sludge are almost impossible to move at any sort of rampant pace.

Officials have confirmed that more than 20 people have died and that 1 person was rescued and remains in stable condition. The search is still pushing forward, however, because there remain at least 12 people who are missing. Through the use of specialized machinery, scent-tracking dogs, and skilled rescue teams, Chinese officials are hoping at least some of the remaining missing will be found alive. With that said, hope is fading fast as many of the missing have been missing for days now.

Surviving a landslide is something that boils down to luck more often than not. Because of the unpredictability of these disasters, people are often affected by them without even a moment’s notice. This is why people who live in landslide-prone areas should always do their best to carefully analyze weather conditions and evacuate their residence when the weather presents even the smallest probability of a landslide occurrence. In more rural areas, this tactic proves to be much more difficult to practice, especially if weather forecasts are not so quickly relayed.