4 August 2009

Fatal landslides in July 2009 – map and report

Posted by Dave Petley

Below is the fatal landslide map for July 2009. Each yellow dot represents a single landslide that killed a person. The background is the etopo1 DEM, with the darker colours representing higher terrain. As usual clicking on the image should provide a high resolution view. The image is a GIF so you should be able to download it, but please acknowledge the source.

You will see that in July the focus has very much switched to Asia, with the effect of the (weak) monsoon along the length of the Himalayas being fairly clear. Note also the clear evidence of fatal landslides in Central China, reflecting the heavy rainfall there, and in Japan. There is very little going on in the Caribbean and in SE Asia at the moment – this is not unexpected for the time of year.

The statistics are as follows:
Number of fatal landslides: 65
Number of fatalities: 366

The average for July for 2003-2008 was 468 fatalities, meaning that 2009 was substantially below average. The cumulative number of fatalities for 2009 is 1328 to the end of July, substantially lower than the long term average cumulative total of 1574 (excluding earthquakes of course). Indeed, only one year (2008) has had a lower cumulative total at this point.

Comments and corrections are welcomed. Thanks to all who have helped to put this together.