Four people have died and another seven have recieved hospital treatment after a landslide hit a shelter occupied by a group of pilgrims and their guides on the Banganga-Ardhkuwari Road close to the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Reasi District, Jammu and Kashmir early on the morning of morning of Saturday 6 August 2016. The deceased have been identified as Shashidhar Kumar (29) of Banglore, Bindu Sahni (30) and her son Vishal (5) of Chhattisgarh and local guide Sadik (32).
A victim of the 6 August 2016 Reasi landslide being treated for injuries. dna India.
The incident is reported to have been brought about by heavy rains; 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. Raeasi Distrct has a Monsoon Season that typically lasts from July to September, with peak rains occuring in August, when around 350 mm of rain tends to fall in the month.
Monsoons are tropical sea breezes triggered by heating of the land during the warmer part of the year (summer). Both the land and sea are warmed by the Sun, but the land has a lower ability to absorb heat, radiating it back so that the air above landmasses becomes significantly warmer than that over the sea, causing the air above the land to rise and drawing in water from over the sea; since this has also been warmed it carries a high evaporated water content, and brings with it heavy rainfall. In the tropical dry season the situation is reversed, as the air over the land cools more rapidly with the seasons, leading to warmer air over the sea, and thus breezes moving from the shore to the sea (where air is rising more rapidly) and a drying of the climate. This situation is particularly intense in South Asia, due to the presence of the Himalayas. High mountain ranges tend to force winds hitting them upwards, which amplifies the South Asian Summer Monsoon, with higher winds leading to more upward air movement, thus drawing in further air from the sea.
Diagrammatic representation of wind and rainfall patterns in a tropical monsoon climate. Geosciences/University of Arizona.
The Jammu and Kashmir region is extremely prone to landslides, due to a number of active faults in the area, these being driven by the northward movement of the Indian Plate, which is pushing into Eurasia at a rate of 40 mm a year. This causes earthquakes on both plates, as well as the folding and uplift that has created the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. Typically this is more of a problem in the monsoon season in July and August, when rainfall often exceeds 650 mm per month in many areas, but the state has a fairly wet climate year round and rainfall in excess of 40-50 mm per month in January-March is not unusual, while about 85 mm is typical for April.
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