Tuesday 20 December 2016

Landslide kills at least two in Khánh Hòa Province, Vietnam.

Two people have died another ten people have been injured, and several more are missing in a landslide in Phuoc Trung Village, about 12 km to the southwest of the city of Nha Trang in Khánh Hòa Province, Vietnam, on Tuesday 20 December 2016. The incident happened at about 1.30 am local time, with part of a landslide collapsing onto a group of houses, completely destroying five. The dead have been identified as a 58-year old woman and a four-year old boy, but no further details have been made available at this time.

Excavation work at the site of the 20 December 2016 Phuoc Trang landslide. Toui Tre News.

The incident came after several days of heavy rains in the area. Landslides are 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. Khánh Hòa Province has a tropical savanna climate with a distinct rainy season from September to December. Peak rainfall typically occurs in October-November, when flooding and flood-related events such as landslides are relatively common. However this year the rains have been particularly heavy and have persisted for much longer, with flood events and fatalities recorded across much of southern and central Vietnam. This has been made worse in many areas by rapid urban expansion, with concrete and paving rapidly covering many areas where exposed soil previously allowed rainwater to drain away, increasing the risk of flooding.

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