Thursday, June 17, 2010

The shape and size of landslides to come -17June2010.

As if to prove STH’s grim predictions true, a small landslide occurred at 4.30AM this morning very near my home in Tirpai, Kalimpong – unfortunately small though it was, three people (a mother aged 48yrs old and her daughter, 21yrs and son, 16yrs) lost their lives. The survivors were the father, an aged grandmother and a dog.
The cause of the slide was very apparent, lack of drainage in a densely crowded urban area where very obviously there has been no planned construction.
This reminds me of a letter sent to me by Dr David Petley of Durham University and one of the foremost authorities on landslides :-
"Slide 18I fear that we will see a legacy of landslides in the urban areas of Asia over the next decade as a result of the incredible rate of urbanization in Asia"

And what is most scary is that the monsoons have been exceptionally mild thus far with the district having got 43% deficient rainfall this year (see here) and last evening we had the FIRST of our major thundershowers in June2010 when it rained a total of 45mm over a 12hr period.

Praful Rao

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