Excavators at work on the mudslide in Shenzhen, China

A mudslide engulfed buildings in Shenzhen, China. Pléiades measures the impact of the disaster.

On 20 December 2015, on the industrial estate in Shenzhen, (the industrial city north of Hong Kong) a mudslide engulfed a number of 3-story buildings. The mud came from an artificial hill made of excavated waste material produced by construction work in the region. Following severe rainfall, the hundred-meter high hill collapsed and flowed down towards the built-up areas. 33 buildings were destroyed, 85 people were declared missing and nearly 1,000 residents were evacuated.

Two Pléiades images reveal the scale of the disaster. One, taken on 22 January, shows the old quarry filled with excavated material, above a small industrial zone and a residential area. The second, taken on 31 December 2015, shows a large number of mechanical excavators in the process of levelling off the ground and making new terraces with the mud and rubble.

Shenzhen, 22/01/2015

Shenzhen, 31/12/2015
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Excavators at work on the mudslide in Shenzhen, China