When soaking rains wash through a region, the land can do horrible things. Epic flooding, sinkholes, landslides - these disasters are thought of as unstoppable forces of nature, deadly events that we are powerless to prevent.
So it is in China's Gansu province, where the death toll from worst landslide to strike the country in sixty years climbs sickeningly each day - two days after the slide, over 702 people are dead and another 1,042 said to be missing, their chances of survival are dwindling fast.
Chinese authorities have called this a "rain-triggered" slide, which indeed it is, but according to a report in The Guardian:
Officials have warned for years that heavy tree-felling and rapid hydro-development were making the mountain area around Zhouqu more vulnerable to landslips, government reports show. One government report last year called the Bailong River a "high-occurrence disaster zone for landslides".
So at the very least, there was some idea of the risk, and human activity may well have exacerbated it.