In 2004 a total of 976 unexpected geological hazards of various kinds resulting in injuries and deaths or economic losses over 500,000 yuan (~US$ 60,408) happened in China, causing 1,312 injuries and deaths, including 697 deaths and 172 missing. The direct economic losses resulted from geological hazards reached 2.058 billion yuan (~ US$ 248.641 million). The economic losses in Yunnan Province, Chongqing Municipality directly under the central government and Sichuan Province made up 78% of the total in China.
The ¡°Regulations on the Prevention and Control of Geological Hazards¡± was formally put into effect, and prevention and control of geological hazards were more law-based. The formulation of the ¡°National Plan for Prevention and Control of Geological Hazards¡± and ¡°National Master Plan for Unexpected Geological Hazards Emergencies¡± was completed.
The early-warning system of geological hazards achieved remarkable effects. During the flood season in 2004, 984 geological hazard events including 213 relatively large-scale ones were forecasted successfully, safely relocating 47,614 people. Succor work responding to geological hazard emergencies was organized and carried out. A total of 1,100 rescue teams responding to the emergencies were sent out, which participated in treatment responding to nearly 800 geological hazard events.
The second stage of the project of prevention and control of geological hazards in the Three Gorges Reservoir area was completed and passed the primary check and acceptance£¬while the planning for third stage of the project of prevention and control of geological hazards was launched. The geological hazard monitoring and early-warning system in the Three Gorges Reservoir area took shape and achieved primary effects. 37 landslides were warned successfully after the water level of the reservoir in front of the Three Gorges Dam reached 135 m, resulting in effective protection of lives and properties of nearly 10,000 people. 129 large landslides were put under professional monitoring. 3-order GPS monitoring networks of geological hazards in the reservoir area were established preliminarily. 1,216 spots for public monitoring and prevention of collapse and landslide groups were set up, and public monitoring and prevention teams were organized.
The First International Conference on Geoparks was held in Beijing successfully in 2004. Eight China¡¯s national geoparks were formally approved as the first group of world geoparks by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization£¨UNESCO£©. China approved 41 national geoparks in 2004.
According to groundwater monitoring in 194 cities of China, cities where the groundwater level rose, declined and kept basically stable accounted for 27%, 31% and 42% respectively compared with the previous year. Among 185 investigated cities of China, cities where groundwater pollution was aggravated, mitigated and kept basically stable accounted for 27.8%, 20.9% and 51.3% respectively.
A total of 115 projects for environment control in mines were implemented with funds of 406 million yuan (~US$ 49.052 million). Geo-environmental investigations in mines in 12 provinces achieved conclusive results for the period. Examination focusing on demonstration projects for environment control in 18 mines was completed. Groundwater environment monitoring as well as ground subsidence monitoring in major regions such as the Yangtze River Delta and the North China Plain were carried out energetically. Groundwater environment monitoring projects at the state level and national survey and evaluation of groundwater pollution proceeded smoothly.