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Cloudbursts on weak slopes

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
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The deadly landslide that swept away an entire village in Taplejung district on Wednesday night appears to have been caused by a cloudburst on an earthquake-weakened mountainside, experts said, warning of worse to come in areas closer to the epicentres of the earthquakes.
Photo:  @aksharkaka

Photo: @aksharkaka

More than 56 people are known to have died, dozens are still missing in the massive mudslide caused by a pre-monsoon squall that dumped 130mm of rain in a few hours in the village of Libang. That is the equivalent  of a week of rain in one night.

Experts say that the landslides could get worse as the monsoons start in earnest in a week’s time, and they could be bigger closer to the epicentres in Gorkha, Dolakha and the 14 districts worse affected by the earthquakes.

Researchers have used satellite data to map at least 3,000 significant slope failures in the 14 districts, and warn that may of these could get bigger and wider when the rains arrive. Many of the slides already threaten settlements, highways and hydro powerplants along the Tama Kosi, Bhote Kosi and Trisuli Rivers.

In Dolakha alone, 14 VDCs need to be immediately relocated because of the landslide damage during the quakes and the imminent danger of further rockfalls during the monsoon.

Although the earthquake seems to be one of the factors in Wednesday’s landslide in Taplejung, it is probably related more to erratic monsoons and extreme weather events that scientists believe are on the rise because of climate change.

Eastern Nepal gets up to 4,000 mm of rain a year and 90 per cent of that falls between June and August.

Read also:

Taplejung landslide kills 41

Quake from space Ayesha Shakya 

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4 Responses to “Cloudbursts on weak slopes”

  1. Pramod Basnet on Says:

    This is only a tip of Iceberg, there are many more to come and thousands of people will be swept away unless the Government and the world humanitarian community do something now.

    ICIMOD has worked on the Geohazard risk map and why this report is kept secret, if no one wants take responsibility at least alert those village which are in high risk so that people can save themselves. It is shameful event to the Government of Nepal, International community and the humanitarian agencies who claim to come to Nepal to Help !!!!!!!

  2. Olga on Says:

    What’s the plan for the villages in danger? Will they be relocated? If yes, when and where?

  3. David Seddon on Says:

    alas – there will be more of this – be prepared…

  4. Gauri Nath Rimal on Says:

    In the year 2011 we had floods, it caused massive damages .
    The people from the flooded areas were to be rehabilitated.The then Nepal Government of King Tribhuwan decided with the advice of the US Aid Operation to relocate them in the Chitwan Valley ( Rapti Doon Valley or so).

    We can select areas in the Bhitri Madesh at this time also to settle the displaced persons from the earthquake devastated ares in the same manner. Even in foot hills there are environmentally suitable areas where they can be resettled .
    Every Nepali citizen has his or her right to move in any part of the country, more so at this time of national distress.

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