Two people have been confirmed dead and another nine injured following a landslide that hit the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Ramban District, Jammu and Kashmir, on Saturday 16 May 2020. The incident happened at about 6.15 pm local time, hitting nine vehicles on the highway, all of which are thought to have been involved in a road improvement scheme. The two victims have been identified as Raj Kumar, 25, and Khalid Hussain, 19, both local men employed on the road widening scheme. The incident blocked the road for several hours, causing a traffic jam of around 2800 vehicles.
Rescue teams search damaged vehicles for survivors following a landslide in Ramban District, Jammu and Kashmir, on 16 May 2020. ANI.
The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is notoriously prone to landslides, particularly during the region's monsoon season, which lasts from July to September, bringing with it extremely high levels of rainfall. 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. However, on this occasion it appears that the landslide may have been triggered by human activity associated with a road-widening scheme which is intended to broaden the highway from its current two lanes to four.
The approximate location of the 16 May 2020 Ramban landslide. Google Maps.
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