Sunday, 10 March 2019

Landslide kills at least four on eastern Flores Island, Indonesia.

Four people have been confirmed dead and another four are missing following a landslide at Kampung Culu in Mbeliling District on Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia, which happened overnight between Thursday 7 and Friday 9 March 2019. Rescue teams are still searching for the missing persons, as well as trying to clear debris from a road which it buried, which serves as the main access route between the westernmost portion of Flores and the rest of the island. The incident happened amid heavy rains that have brought flooding to parts of the island. 

The approximate location of the March 2019 Flores landslide. Google Maps.

Flores has a tropical climate, with a Rainy Season related to the Northeast Monsoon that lasts from December to March, with each of those months typically receiving more than 250 mm of rain. Indonesia 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 (this Southern Monsoon does not typically reach Flores, resulting in a dry season over these months). 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.

 Diagrammatic representation of wind and rainfall patterns in a tropical monsoon climate. Geosciences/University of Arizona.

See also...

https://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2018/05/magnitude-52-earthquake-to-south-of.htmlhttps://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2017/11/magnitude-54-earthquake-beneath-west.html
https://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2017/10/activity-on-mount-lewotolo-lesser-sunda.htmlhttps://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2017/07/magnitude-50-earthquake-to-northeast-of.html
https://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/02/magnitude-63-earthquake-beneath-palau.htmlhttps://sciencythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/11/magnitude-63-earthquake-beneath-palau.html
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