(May 24, 2013) The iron fist of government controlling China’s electricity sector is not only costing China’s power consumers dearly, it is also the cause of serious distortions in the country’s power markets, says a new study by one of China’s preeminent think tanks.
(May 22, 2013) Chinese experts in landslide and geohazard protection fear debris flows, triggered by an epic 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, may pose a threat to the region for two decades. A tremendous amount of loose material from the landslides is suspended on hillslopes, ready to be washed away by rain. The potential for ongoing landslides and secondary hazards, such as flooding and blocked rivers, they argue, warrants further investigation.
(May 7, 2013) Two new documentaries released this month reveal more horrifying details about China’s notorious re-education through labor (RTL) system. Other recent exposés of systemic human rights abuses in the RTL have led to calls to scrap the long-contested practice entirely. China’s new leadership is reportedly reviewing it. Continue reading
(April 30, 2013) Nature magazine reports that, while scientists agree that China’s deadly tremor at Ya’an (Lushan county) may hint at where future quakes will strike, they disagree on which seismic fault the next rupture is likely to occur.
(April 29, 2013) Understanding the forces behind China’s magnitude-7 earthquake in Sichuan Province more than a week ago should sound warning bells. Patricia Adams digs deep into the country’s recent rash of earthquakes in southwestern China and finds the region’s seismic risk is increasingly man-made.
(April 22, 2013) Shockwaves from Saturday’s magnitude-7 earthquake in Sichuan have placed the region on high alert for secondary disasters from landslides and the potential collapse of 54 earthquake-damaged dams, reports South China Morning Post. The coming rains will promote mudslides and threaten the structural integrity of these dams, geologists warn. Already, a state-of-emergency has been declared for five dams and downstream populations have been evacuated. More than 3,000 hydropower engineers and military personnel are now examining every dam in the region but many areas are still inaccessible. Nine nuclear facilities in Sichuan felt shockwaves too, but have not reported any leaking pipes or ruined buildings. As of Sunday night, the region had experienced 1,642 aftershocks.
(April 22, 2013) China’s “First Financial Daily” investigates the hazards of reservoir-induced seismicity in the wake of the magnitude-7 Lushan earthquake. Continue reading