Friday 18 October 2019

Family of four feared dead after landslide in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya.

A family of four are thought to have lost their lives following a landslide in the village of Kapkonder in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya, on Friday 18 October 2019. The incident reportedly happened early in the morning while the family, described as two adults and two children, were sleeping, 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. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall.

 The approximate location of the 18 October 2019 Kapkondor Landslide. Google Maps.

Elgeyo Marakwet County lies within the Rift Valley of Kenya, and often suffers in flash floods, severe erosion and landslides on its escarpments following heavy rainfall events. The Rift Valley area has two Rainy Seasons per year, with a long rainy season that runs from March to May and a short rainy season than lasts from October to December. Such a double Rainy 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. 

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