Friday 27 September 2013

Couple, baby, rescued after Philippine landslide.

A couple and their baby have been rescued after their home, described as a hut by a river, was destroyed by a landslide in the village of Inicbulan in Barangay Province, the Philippines, roughly 100 km south of Manila, at about 11.00 pm local time (about 3.00 pm GMT) on Thursday, 26 September 2013. The husband, Eric Lansito was only partially buried, and was quickly rescued, as was his 8 month old son. Rescuers form the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard and Red Cross were unable to locate Jean Lansito (18) despite searching through the night, and initial press reports stated that she was believed to have died. However it is reported that she was discovered unconscious at about midday local time on Friday 27 September, and taken to a local hospital where her condition is described as serious.

The approximate location of the 26 September 2013 Inicibulan landslide. Google Maps.

The incident happened following several days of heavy rain in the wake of the passage of Typhoon Odette. The low pressure above tropical storms causes water to rise there by ~1 cm for every millibar drop in pressure, leading to a storm surge that can overwhelm low-lying coastal areas, while at the same time the heat leads to high levels of evaporation from the sea - and subsequently high levels of rainfall. This can cause additional flooding on land, as well as landslides, which 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.

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