Wednesday, July 18, 2012

South Asia landslides 'on the rise'

Navin Singh Khadka in BBC News: Most South Asian countries are witnessing an increasing trend in landslides in recent years and scientists say extreme rainfall patterns, seismicity, and uncontrolled human activities are to blame.

Authorities have said the number of people killed and displaced and properties destroyed by the disaster are also on the upward trend.

Landslides are common in the region, particularly in the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya foothills, during monsoon that lasts for around four months until September. But, authorities say their frequency and intensity are on the rise.

"There has been an increase in the events of landslides in the region in recent years," says Mriganka Ghattak, a specialist in geological disasters with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC's) Disaster Management Centre in Delhi.

"We have noticed the rise particularly in northern parts of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and some areas of Bangladesh," said Ghattak. "Broadly the main affected areas are in the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region where the geological conditions are quite dynamic."...

A 2009 landslide from Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines, shot by Susan Corpuz, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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