China Focus: Local resident prevents tragedy by predicting landslide
BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Just ten minutes before a massive landslide, a man stopped 15 cars heading to the scene, preventing what could have become a tragedy.
Continous rain in recent days has loosened rocks and mud on the mountains surrounding Beijing. At 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, some 30,000 cubic meters of large rocks fell, covering a section of a mountain road in Fangshan District.
Cars were traveling along the road, their drivers unaware of the impending danger. No casualties were caused nor cars damaged, thanks to local resident An Hongsan who predicted the disaster and stopped the cars in time.
In June 2017, along with other villagers, An joined a grassroots geological disaster prevention team organized by the Fangshan branch of Beijing Municipal Commission for City Planning and Land Resources Management.
"I patrol around 4 to 5 km of this road, two or three times every day, checking for falling rocks and monitoring the water levels in rivers," he said.
He recalled that he felt something different on Saturday morning, "I heard the sound of rocks falling down the mountain before I left the village."
"When I arrived at the road section, I saw big rocks on the road," he said. "I felt very nervous because it seemed that rocks were falling down continuously on that particular area of the mountain."
He immediately started to stop the cars traveling towards the area and called some of his colleagues and neighbors to help him. A total of 15 cars carrying 28 people were stopped on the road.
Videos of the massive landslide have been circulated online and An's heroic deed has drawn appreciation from many.
"I am not a hero, that is just my job," An said.
In recent years, Beijing Municipal Commission for City Planning and Land Resources Management has been mobilizing villagers to join natural disaster prevention efforts.
Every year, before the rainy season, training is arranged to improve the grassroots patrollers' ability to prevent disasters.
The municipal flood control headquarters said Saturday that the city will continue to be affected by heavy rain in the following three days and warned of possible landslides and other geological disasters.