Friday 25 April 2014

Three feared dead after West Sumatra landslide.

Three people are missing presumed dead after a landslide struck a house in the village of Bukit Panjuik in Tigo Nagari District, West Sumatra, on the morning of Thursday 24 April 2014. The three have been named as Idel (23), his wife Elni or Minden (23) and an unnamed child. 

Rescue workers at Bukit Panjuik after the 24 April 2014 landslide. Merdeka.

The incident happened after several hours of heavy rainfall which began on the afternoon of Wednesday 23 April, and continued overnight. 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 Tigo Nagari District has suffered a number of erosion related events in the last 24 hours, blocking a number of roads. 

West Sumatra has a  wet tropical climate, with approximately 4300 mm of rain per year and no clear dry season. Landslides are a common problem, particularly as a rising population is leading both to increasing deforestation (which removes tree roots that can stabilize slopes) and more people settling on or close to slopes where they are vulnerable.

The approximate location of the 24 April 2014 Tigo Nigari landslide. Google Maps.

See also...

Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.