14 July 2020
Deadly monsoon-induced landslides in Nepal in the last few days
Over the last few days intense monsoon rainfall in Nepal has triggered a wave of landslides that have caused extensive loss of life and damage. Worst affected appears to be the district of Myagdi in the central part of Nepal, one of the former Hill Districts of alpine height mountains. There, 27 people are known to have died and a further four are reported to be missing.
The most significant landslide appears to have occurred in Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality, where 18 people were killed, whilst eight people died in Malika Rural Municipality and one person was killed Raghuganga Rural Municipality.
Meanwhile, on Sunday another landslide struck Besinda, in Sankhuwasabha District at about 1 a.m. Eleven people are reported to have been killed, whilst four were rescued with injuries.
There is less clarity about a landslide that occurred on Sindhupalchowk District, which has suffered repeated landslide events since the 2015 earthquake. Three fatalities have been confirmed, but up to 20 people are reported to be missing.
In Jajarkot District, landslides in Borekot Gaunpalika-4 and elsewhere are reported to have killed ten people, whilst in Kaski there are reports of landslides at Sarangkot (five fatalities), Hemja (one fatality) and Paitedanda (one fatality).
Yesterday, a series of landslides in Tanahun District is reported to have killed another ten people and to have left two more missing.
On Twitter, @basanta58_raj has been posting and retweeting images of some of the landslides. This image shows the landslide at Barekot Gaonpalika-4 in Jajarkot, which I note above:-
This is a fascinating image showing both channelised debris flows and open hillslope failures. Meanwhile, this image from Ghartigaun, also in Jajarkot, appears to show incising flows that have initiated on a road high on this hillside:-
Interestingly, there is increasing recognition in Nepal that a part of the problem is unconstrained and unregulated road construction. The Kathmandu Post has a good article highlighting this issue:-
However, disaster management experts say many of the deadly landslides were triggered by haphazard road construction that disturbed the slopes and natural drainage, while in the plains floods have been made worse by poorly designed roads, urbanisation of floodplains, deforestation and sand extraction in the Chure, as well as embankment building across the border in India.
Quickslide 1: Further landslide fatalities in Japan
Two people are thought to have been killed in a landslide at Higashihiroshima in Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan this morning.
Quickslide 2: Eight more landslide fatalities in India
The monsoon in India continues to trigger landslides that are causing substantial levels of loss. On Friday a series of landslides were triggered by heavy rainfall, killing eight people in Arunachal Pradesh.