A passenger travelling in a car near the town of Mersing in Johol State, Peninsula Malaysia, on Sunday 14 January 2017 has been injured by a landslide that caused it to plunge into a ravine. The passenger has been identified as Swee Ah Peng, 60, who was one of three people in the vehicle when the road gave way beneath it, causing it to fall 15 m downslope, at about 2.30 pm local time. The incident happened following several days of heavy rain in the area. 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.
The scene of a landslide in Johol State, Malaysia, on 14 January 2017. Bernama.
Malaysia has two distinct Monsoon Seasons, with a Northeast Monsoon driven by winds from the South China Sea that lasts from November to February and a Southwest Monsoon driven by winds from the southern Indian Ocean from March to October. Such a double Monsoon Season is common close to the equator, where the Sun is highest overhead around the equinoxes and lowest on the horizons around the solstices, making the solstices the coolest part of the year and the equinoxes the hottest.
The winds that drive the Northeast and Southwest Monsoons in Southeast Asia. Mynewshub.
Monsoons are tropical sea breezes triggered by heating of the land during the warmer part of the year (summer). Both the land and sea are warmed by the Sun, but the land has a lower ability to absorb heat, radiating it back so that the air above landmasses becomes significantly warmer than that over the sea, causing the air above the land to rise and drawing in water from over the sea; since this has also been warmed it carries a high evaporated water content, and brings with it heavy rainfall. In the tropical dry season the situation is reversed, as the air over the land cools more rapidly with the seasons, leading to warmer air over the sea, and thus breezes moving from the shore to the sea (where air is rising more rapidly) and a drying of the climate.
Malaysia has become increasingly landslip-prone in recent years due to extensive deforestation, which leaves soil exposed to heavy tropical rainfall. Concerns have also been raised about the large number of construction sites on steep hillslopes in urban areas, where workers are particularly vulnerable to landslip events during the Monsoon Seasons.
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