6 October 2014
Fatal landslides in the first seven months of 2014
I have now analysed the data on fatal landslides (i.e. those that caused loss of life) for the first seven months of the year. This is the dataset that I’ve been collecting since 2002 (i.e. for over 12 years), and that I wrote up for my paper in Geology a couple of years ago (Petley 2012). This map shows the distribution of the landslides for the period January to July 2014
Each dot represents a single landslide that killed at least one person; there is no representation of how many people were killed in each event. The background image is a digital elevation model. As usual the map shows hotspots in South Asia, China, Indonesia and the Philippines, plus a scattering of landslide events elsewhere. There are slightly more landslides in Africa than normal.
In this seven month period I recorded 222 landslides that caused loss of life, resulting in 1466 deaths. The largest event occurred in Afghanistan in May, with about 500 deaths (although early reports suggested many more). The average number of landslides in the first seven months of the year for the period 2003-2013 is 202, so at a little over halfway 2014 is slightly above average. At the same point in the last few years the totals were:- 2010: 303; 2011: 214; 2012: 220; 2013: 237. Of course the severity of the year in terms of landslides is defined by the period July to September, so I will need to analyse the more recent data to be able to determine this.
The fatality data shows much more inter-annual variation, but the average over the period 2003-2013 is 2318 lives lost, so in this respect 2014 is less severe than the previous decade or so.
Petley, D.N. 2012. Global patterns of loss of life from landslides. Geology 40 (10), 927-930.Petley, D.N. 2012. Global patterns of loss of life from landslides. Geology 40 (10), 927-930.