4 October 2009

Landslide round-up: Philippines, India and Italy

Posted by Dave Petley

1. Philippines
Typhoon Parma (known as Pepeng in the Philippines) has churned its way across the northern part of Luzon in the Philippines. Fortunately, its track took it north of the most vulnerable area, which is the first bit of good news for a while:

However, early reports are that the storm has triggered some landslides:

“Rains in Benguet province set off landslides in which at least 12 people were killed, police said. The victims included seven small-scale miners who were sleeping in a shelter when they were buried by one landslide, said provincial police chief Loreto Espeneli.”

And this from GMA News in the Philippines:

“At least 12 people were killed in two landslides that hit their homes in Benguet province in” the wake of typhoon “Pepeng” (Parma), a radio report said Sunday. Radio dzBB’s Benjie Liwanag Jr. reported that seven people, including a family and two guests, were killed in a landslide in Sitio Manganese in Ampukao village in Itogon town. The incident occurred at about 2 a.m., the report said. The fatalities were not immediately named, but the report said the two guests were from Ifugao province.”

“On the other hand, dzBB said five members of a family were buried in their house at Beckel village in La Trinidad town Saturday night. Their bodies were recovered Sunday morning.”

2. India
The very heavy rain in southern India is continuing to cause major problems. On Friday it has been reported that a landslide struck Kadwad in Uttara Kannada district in North Karnataka:

“In Kadwad village, a landslide occurred in the Madibag area on Friday afternoon, where 24 people were buried alive when the nine houses collapsed. While a minor landslide had already occurred later, the people residing between the railway track and the hillock area of the village did not expect another landslide. But, by evening boulders and mud from the hill began rolling down and seven families bore the brunt of this negligence.” (note I suspect that the use of the term “negligence” here may be a mistranslation”

3. Italy
The Italian news agency ANSA is now reporting that the loss of life in the mudslides in Messina at the end of last week is 22, but that this is likely to continue to rise. There appears to be growing anger about the links between this disaster and illegal construction.