Monday 5 August 2013

A least five dead following landslide in Kerala State, India.

Five people are known to have died and another fifteen, including two foreign tourists, are believed to still be buried in their vehicles following a landslide that covered 20-50 m of road in debris at  Chiyyapara in the Idukki District of Kerala, at about 9.30 am local time (about 4.00 am GMT) on Monday 5 August 2013. Rescue attempts by local residents. police and fire crews are being hampered by sustained heavy rains at the scene, making it hard to clear the road or to reach vehicles that have been swept into a gorge on the downhill side of the road, and a rescue team from the Indian Navy has been dispatched to assist with the rescue bid. 

Rescue attempts at Chiyyapara on Monday 5 August 2013. IBN.

Like other areas of India Kerala has suffered unusually high levels of rain this Monsoon Season, leading to numerous floods and landslides in a part of the country already notorious for such problems. 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.

The approximate location of the 5 August 2013 Chiyyapara landslide. Google Maps.

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