18 April 2019

A dramatic debris flow video

Posted by Dave Petley

A dramatic debris flow video

This video has been posted to Youtube, but with no explanation:-


It shows a debris flow cascading over a cliff above a mountain road, with a trapped 4×4.  It appears that the part of the event captured by the video probably follows the initial major surge, which appears to have deposited a large volume on the road:-

debris flow

A debris flow on a road, probably in South Asia. Still from a video posted to Youtube.


Does anyone know anything more?

Parts of the Himalayas are suffering from unusual levels of pre-monsoon rainfall, with substantial losses from landslides and floods.  For example, the Jammu-Srinigar highway has been blocked repeatedly over the last few weeks, and there have been several fatal landslides in Pakistan this year already.  In the case of Pakistan, this rainfall has been sufficiently unusual to justify a dedicated Wikipedia pageAn editorial in Pakistan Today questions why hazards driven by climate change are not given a higher priority in that country:-

“The weather predictions by the Pakistan Meteorological Department and the warnings to the population by the Pakistan Disaster Management Authority provide insufficient time to the population to fend for itself. The concerned agencies, that include police, Rescue 1122 and provincial disaster management authorities, are under-staffed, ill-equipped, and mostly urban-specific. The way climate change is hitting Pakistan, any extreme climate event can lead to a disaster. There is a need to strengthen the forecast and rescue bodies now rather than wring hands and blame the past governments when the tragedy occurs.”

To date, 2019 has seen an unusual level of landsliding worldwide, with fatalities totaling over 1,000 already, even though the first three months of the year are usually the least active period.  Significant losses have occurred in rainfall induced events in Africa, South America, SE. Asia and in East Asia, as well as in mining and construction induced landslides.