Dam collapse in China could point to a ‘black swan’ disaster

Japan’s Brand New Bullet Train Is Earthquake-Proof

japan train

Despite the postponed Olympics, Japan is still introducing a new high-speed train that the country intended to roll out for the 2020 Tokyo games. The new train can go 224 miles per hour, but will be capped at “just” 177 for operation. The makers also say the train is earthquake-proof because of its onboard power source and different modes for tackling dangerous track.

With better brakes and running controls, the train can also slow and stop much faster in an emergency. People (safely) flocked to the train’s inaugural run on July 1, which marked the first new train model on the Tokaido Shinkansen, Japan’s high-speed rail system, in more than a decade…


Dam collapse in China could point to a ‘black swan’ disaster

he dam at a small reservoir in China’s Guangxi region gave way last month after days of heavy rain in a collapse that could be a harbinger of sterner tests for many of the country’s 94,000 aging dams as the weather gets more extreme.

Located in Yangshuo county, famed for its otherworldly karst landscape, the dam collapsed at around midday on June 7, inundating roads, orchards and fields in Shazixi village, residents told Reuters.

“I’ve never seen such flooding,” said villager Luo Qiyuan, 81, who helped build the dam decades ago. “The water levels were never so high in previous years, and the dam had never collapsed.”

Completed in 1965, the dam, made of compacted earth, was designed to hold 195,000 cubic metres of water, enough to fill 78 Olympic-size swimming pools and meet the irrigation needs of Shazixi’s farmers.

On a visit to the reservoir in mid-July, Reuters found the length of the dam, of about 100 metres, had largely vanished. It was reinforced 25 years ago…


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