Friday, May 31, 2013

Killer landslides of the future : Darjeeling (30May2013)

"I 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." Professor Dave Petley, BSc (Hons) AKC PhD FRGS FGS ILTM CGeo, Univ of Durham (UK)
Rain Death : an excerpt from The Telegraph (31May2013)

Darjeeling, May 30:

Subhawana Chhetri, 21, was killed when a wall collapsed during heavy rainfall at Himali Goan in Singamari near here around 2pm today. “She was trying to fill up a drum with rain water when a retention wall collapsed and she came under it,” said a relative.

A student of Loreto Convent, Sheetal Thapa, 17, was injured in a mudslip at Rose Bank. “The Class XII girl was partially buried in a mudslip when she was on her way to school around 7.30am. Local people pulled her out,” said an official of the district administration.

Comment by Praful Rao, Kalimpong
The fatal landslides shown above are now a familiar sight ( see 1 and 2) :-
Their characteristics are :-
a) They are relatively small landslides or slips.
b) The human footprint is writ large in the cause of the slides - most often they are caused by faulty drainage or lack of any drainage.
c) They take place in an urban setting like the one seen above.
d) They kill people.
e) We can do a lot to mitigate or prevent  these killer  landslides but tragically no one is really bothered.
f) What is scary is that the monsoons have not even reached us (officially they should be over us on 05Jun2013) and we have at least 4 months of rain ahead of us!

Photo credit : Sanjit Nandi, Himalaya Darpan

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