Thursday 12 September 2013

At least four deaths following Afghanistan landslide.

At least four people are known to have died and around twenty more are missing after a landslide struck the remote village of Askitol in Zibak District in Badakhshan Province in northeast Afghanistan on Tuesday 10 September 2013. The event happened when part of a hillside collapsed following days of heavy rain, destroying 34 houses as well as about 100 acres of farmland and 140 cattle. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall. 

Askitol Village following the 10 September 2013 landslide. Wakht News Agency.

Many areas of south and east Asia have suffered a string of flooding and landslide events this year, following an exceptional Himalayan Monsoon and a string of tropical storms. The worst hit countries have been India, China and Nepal, where over a thousand people have died, but no countries in the area have escaped completely unscathed. Northwest Afghanistan has suffered a series of flash floods since August, dozens of people and taking a heavy toll on farmland, livestock and infrastructure.

The approximate location of the 10 September 2013 Askitol landslide. Google Maps.

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