Thursday 7 February 2019

Bolivian landslide kills at least fifteen.

Fifteen people, including at least five children, have now been confirmed dead and more than fifty have been injured following a pair of landslides that hit the La Paz-Caranavi highway near El Choro in La Paz Department on Saturday 2 February 2019. The first incident is reported to have buried several vehicles, and blocked the road, with the second incident hitting rescue teams and vehicles held up by the original blockage shortly after, and causing part of the road to collapse down the hillside.

The scene of a landslide in which several people died in La Paz Department, Bolivia, on 2 February 2019. The Guardian.

The incident happened amid torrential rains associated with the Bolivian Rainy Season, which typically lasts from November to March, driven by high evaporation over the Pacific Ocean during the southern summer, which falls as rain when air currents coming from the ocean are pushed upwards as they encounter the Andes Mountains, causing the air to cool and lose its moisture, with peak rainfall in January and February. 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.

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