11 May 2013
First news of a costly landslide in Mizoram, India
Posted by Dave Petley
Various news reports are emerging of a substantial landslide in Laipuitland, Mizoram, in the far east of India. The Hindu reports that eight people have been confirmed as having been killed, a further 11 are missing and that nine people were injured. The trigger appears to have been a thunderstorm.
More information should emerge in the next 24 hours.
This landslide occurred in downtown Aizawl (Laipuitland), the capital of Mizuram, at about 3 am local time, after a thunderstorm. Aizawl has a population of about 300,000 and is perched at about 1 km elevation on an anticline ridge of the Burma accretion thrust-fold belt in eastern India. I was in Aizawl for a week at the end of April, part of a team of Geo-Hazard International (GHI) that includes landslide expert Kevin Clahan. Steep terrane and other factors make the town very susceptible to landsliding. Several slow-moving landslides are currently active in and around the town.