In China, Local Government Learned of Deadly Mudslide From the Internet

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The internet is a magnificent communication tool that has enabled knowledge and news to transverse the world nearly instantaneously. That said, sometimes it’s best just to walk outside every once in a while and see what’s going on. A county government in Shanxi, China, learned that in June of 2011 when they hopped on a Chinese news site and discovered that a deadly mudslide had occurred the day before — in their own town.

The mudslide, which left nine people dead, occurred at 3 A.M. on the morning of June 26. But the government of the county in which it occurred was somehow unaware of it until early in the A.M. of the 27th, when someone spotted a news story about it on Xinhua’s website.

This report is part of a larger piece published by Xinhua reflecting on 2011 incidents where Chinese local governments filed their reports late. But this particular case is pretty shocking, and suggests to us that as great as the internet is, perhaps some local governors need to spend a little bit less time online and a little bit more time out in the real world.

[Xinhua via Sina Tech]

(And yes, we're serious about ethics and transparency. More information here.)

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