22 July 2015

Chamoli: a large and spectacular failure caught on video

Posted by Dave Petley

Chamoli landslide

News 24 has posted the following video on Youtube in the last 24 hours.  It was apparently shot in Chamoli District of Uttarakand in northern India, but I have no further information.  It is a spectacular failure, as the screen shot below shows:-


Chamoli landslide via News24


I recommend fast forwarding to about 18 seconds to see the event properly:


Meanwhile heavy rains also appear to be causing problems in other parts of the mountains of Central and South Asia:

  • In Chitral, northern Pakistan, reports suggest that 300,000 families have been displaced by flash floods.  It is likely that many of these events will be debris flows.
  • In Tajikistan, mudslides killed seven people in Vanch district of Gorno-Badakhshan.
  • There are signs that the heavily remediated Varunavat Parvat landslide in Utterkashi, northern India, has reactivated.
  • In Chechnya a minibus fell from a road near to the village of Kharachoy in Vedensky District , killing at least seven and possibly eleven people, and injuring a further six.  Reports suggest that the vehicle was struck by a rockfall or landslide.

But on the brighter side, the impact of landslides in the earthquake affected areas of Nepal has been lower than feared, primarily because so far the rainfall has not been excessive to date.  There is still a long way to go in the 2015 monsoon though, and the real danger is from cloud burst events that can occur at any time.