Monday 18 November 2013

Four killed by landslide in Katsina State, northern Nigeria.

Four people, including three children, were killed in a landslide at Funtawa Village in Katsina State in northern Nigeria at about 10.30 am local time (about 9.30 am GMT) on Thursday 14 November 2013. The dead have been named as Malam Maharazu (20), Ma’aruf Mohammed (12), Kabiru Abdullahi (8), and Haliru Mohammed (7).

The approximate location of the 14 November 2013 Funtawa landslide. Google Maps.

The precise cause of the incident is unclear. 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 November is the Dry Season in northern Nigeria, and there have been no reports of any unseasonal weather, so this is unlikely to have been the cause. Local press reports have described the incident as taking place at an 'excavation site', suggesting that it may relate to the construction industry, but no further details are available at the time of writing.

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