Sunday 20 March 2016

Flooding and landslides kill over 30 people in northern Pakistan.

Thirty four people have been confirmed dead and many more are still missing as heavy rain falls across northern Pakistan. The rainfall has led to flooding which has affected many communities, as well as blocking roads and triggering a number of landslides. 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 worst incident is thought to have occured in the village of Susom in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, where a school was hit by a landslide on Saturday 19 March 2016. So far two children have been confirmed dead following this incident, but a further nine are missing and there is thought to be little hope of finding them alive.

Rescue work at the site of a house struck by a landslide at Sirlisrabad in Patikaon on Saturday 19 March 2016. Sajjad Qayyum/AFP.

Another five people have reportedly been killed when a house was struck by a landslide in the Sarli Sacha area of Muzaffarabad. Many more people have been killed in house collapses across the region, largely due to the use of mud-bricks as a building material. Such bricks are a cheap and easily obtainable building material for poorer communities in Pakistan, but fare very badly in wet conditions.

Flooding and landslices are common at this time of year in northern Pakistan, where rising temperatues at the start of summer lead to thawing snow and ice in the mountains of the region. However the area does not typically recieve large amounts of rainfall at this time of year, and the heavy rainfall which has arrived in 2016 has both caught people by surprise and worsened the usual seasonal problems. 

See also... known to have died following massive deep Earthquake in northeast Afghanistan.                                                Four hundred and forty people are known to have died and... confirmed deaths in Karachi landslide.                                                       At least thirteen people have died following a landslide in the Gulistan Johar District of Karachi, the capital of Sindh...
The death toll from a heat wave hitting Sindh Province in Pakistan is thought to have exceeded 800. A total of 775 deaths had been...
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