- freely available
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120497
2.1. Data Source
2.2. Rescue Effort
3. Analysis and Discussion
3.1. Internal Factors: Geographical Position, Geological Conditions and Seismic Fracture Zone
3.1.1. Geographical Position and Geological Conditions
3.1.2. Seismic Fracture Zone
3.2. External Factors: Rainfall, Track Vibration and Flood Erosion
3.2.2. Flood Erosion
3.2.3. Human Activity
- Risk assessment should be conducted to reveal the risk level along the Chengdu–Kunming railway. There are many quantitative or statistical risk assessment methods able to predict landslide susceptibility, e.g., logistic regression (LR) , analytical hierarchy process (AHP) [36,37,38,39,40,41], and frequency ratio (FR). The landslide susceptibility can also be mapped using geographic information system (GIS) technology [36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44]. Based on a comparative study, Yalcin  concluded that the AHP method yielded a more realistic scenario regarding the actual distribution of landslide susceptibility. The application of these models can give guidance for monitoring the occurrence of a landslide.
- Therefore, the application of remote sensing (RS) and GIS for landslide disaster management is necessary . For instance, two consecutive landslides within a month starting on 11 October 2018 and twice blocked the Jinsha River which is the upper reaches of the Yangtze River at the junction of Sichuan Province and Tibet in China . However, with the deployment of a real-time landslide early warning system, local authorities took immediate action to quickly and safely construct spillways to drain the dammed lake. It avoided the most serious cases, where loss of life and property is at least one order of magnitude lower than that observed without rapid intervention. Because the western region of Sichuan is the transition zone of the Sichuan Basin and Yun-Gui Plateau and the geological characteristics of these two regions are similar, the railway and its related departments can follow this model for further research and development of monitoring. The government may be able to obtain all the data from the time-lapse to the end of a landslide by monitoring areas where landslides occur on a long-term basis such as the example above. In addition, drones can also periodically measure the topography of the landslide’s starting area, combined with GIS technology to analyse the time variation of the storage space distribution in the landslide’s starting area [36,38,47].
- In Ganluo County, Sichuan Province, the summer rainfall is rich, and the groundwater is abundant . Most landslides are triggered by rainfall, with the influence of the monsoon climate and environmental changes. The hydro-meteorological data also show that two series of early precipitation for 10 days may produce excess pore water pressure and high saturation in landslide and debris flow areas . Therefore, the data using the rainfall assimilation method provides a new method for merging multisource data with models, which may be used to predict the displacement of landslides . In addition, the landslide simultaneous state and parameter estimation strategy were able to make use of time-series displacements and hydrological information for the joint estimation of landslide displacement and model parameters. It was able to improve the performance considerably. The establishment of a groundwater flow model may be effective for better planning and location of landslide stability enhancement measures . In addition to the methods mentioned above, relatively low-cost countermeasure could be employed to define rainfall thresholds that have been used as a base for an EWS in Emilia Romagna (Italy). Experiences show that only a few data are needed if a long-term research project is established, but the performance can improve greatly with time .
- The deaths and missing persons at the landslide site were station staff and workers who were clearing the railway drains. Therefore, in such a remote area, if the geological survey and landslide warning after the landslide occur, similar casualties could be avoided. In particular, after the first mudslide (19 July) and landslide (4 August), measures such as reinforcement, blasting, or removal of the surrounding loose soil should be taken quickly.
4. Concluding Remarks
- A moderate size landslide event, with about 48000 m3 of earth and rocks, occurred at Ganluo, resulting in 12 fatalities and five people reported as missing, destroying a section of the railway of approximately 70 m and causing this section of the train service to be suspended for 15 days.
- The reason that caused the landslides were due to the combined effects of frequent former earthquakes, steep topography, large amounts of rainfall water, deep-seated sliding interface, dynamic train running load, and the effects of the previous two geological disasters, etc. These effects led to severe casualties and environmental impacts. For prevention and mitigation of these slide hazards, risk assessment concerning landslides should be conducted first to reveal the risk level along the Chengdu–Kunming railway line. Based on the risk assessment results, early warning systems should be provided through cost-effective precipitation and groundwater sensing technologies as well as the establishment of GIS databases to continuously monitor geologically risk-prone areas.
- After the landslide disaster, continuous monitoring of the surrounding soil in a timely manner should be conducted to deploy and evacuate relevant rescue workers. Disaster prevention education for villagers living in vulnerable areas is also important. This will reduce casualties in similar incidents in the future.
Conflicts of Interest
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