27 July 2021
The disastrous Taliye village landslide in Maharashtra, India
In amongst the other news associated with the current range of extreme weather events, a disastrous landslide at the village of Taliye in Raigad, Maharashtra in India on 22 July 2021 barely got a mention. This is deeply unfortunate as this landslide, one of several that occurred in India last week, was catastrophic. The search operations in the aftermath of the landslide were stopped yesterday leaving a death toll of 84 people, only 53 of whom have been recovered, with a further five injured. Mid-day has a good report about the event, including this image of the aftermath:-
The location of this landslide appears to be 18.110, 73.584, although this needs confirmation. This is the location on Google Earth – it looks to be correct:-
I believe that the geology here is likely to be the multiple layers of the Deccan Volcanic Province, meaning that the bedrock is basalt, with a high level of erosion. The landslide itself is mostly planar in nature – the Google Earth image suggests to me that this is likely to have occurred in a deposit of weathered basalt and colluvium, with the trigger being unusually heavy rainfall.
Interestingly Ajit Pawar, the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, is quoted as saying that the Taliye had not been identified as being landslide prone. This may reflect a longer than anticipated runout distance for the landslide perhaps, although we will need to wait for good satellite imagery (which is difficult to acquire in the monsoon) to be sure.
The Taliye village landslide was the largest event in the Raigad area of Maharastra last week, In total 124 people were left dead or missing, the majority of whom lost their lives in landslides.