Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New study (2012) reveals landslides kill 10X more people than previously thought

Studies done by Dr David Petley of Durham University (UK) have revealed that the number of deaths caused by landslides is almost ten time more than previous estimates.
Stating that "global loss of life from landslides is poorly quantified", Dr Petley's study done over a seven year period (2004-2010) has found that as many as 32,322 people may have perished in 2620 fatal landslides during this time as against an earlier estimate of 3000-7,000.
Quoting Dr Petley, "The upshot is a lack of quantification and thus appreciation of the true impacts of landslides, resulting in poor prioritization of global-scale landslide research and mitigation".
What should worry those of us living the Himalayas is that in the above map showing the spatial distribution of fatal landslides, the cluster of black dots is the thickest in our region (ie "Along the southern edge of the Himalayan Arc"), yet our efforts towards managing this disaster form remains largely academic (being confined to the hallowed confines of IITs and other scientific institutions/departments) with virtually no work being done at the grassroots level ie where the landslides are killing people.

Praful Rao

STH would like to thank Dr David Petley for sharing  his article entitiled "Global patterns of loss of life from landslides" article with us.

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