Monday, 22 January 2018

Thirteen dead after landslide pushes bus into ravine in southern Colombia.

Thirteen people are known to have died after a bus was pushed into a ravine in Nariño Province, Colombia, on Sunday 21 January 2018. The bus was travelling between the cities of Tumaco and Pasto, close to the border with Ecuador. The known casualties are reported to include two women, a newborn baby and another child, though rescue workers are still investigating the possibility that there may have been more casualties, either on the bus or in another as yet undiscovered vehicle. The incident occurred amid torrential rain in the area. 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. In this instance about 50 000 cubic meters of soil are estimated to have slipped down the hillslope.

Rescue workers searching a hillside in Nariño Province, Colombia, following a landslide on 21 January 2018. Ivan Antonio Jurado/Reuters.

The Tumaco area has a wet tropical climate with a distinct rainy season that lasts from January to mid-July. The wettest month is June, which typically receives around 350 mm of rain, though January is also wet with around 375 mm of rain falling in the month.

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