Six workers were killed in a landslide at a construction site in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan on Wednesday 18 December 2019. The workers are understood to have been working on a new metro line when part of an embankment collapsed onto them following heavy rain. 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. Construction sites can be particularly prone to such events, as they expose layers of sediment usually covered by other material, often on steep slopes which are more prone to collapse, for which reason it is important to keep all such surfaces properly shored up. The cause of the Tashkent landslip is not yet clear.
Landslip at a construction site in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on 18 December 2019. Radio Free Europe.
Tashkent has a dry climate, typically receiving less than 450 mm of rain in a year; the winter period, from December to April is cooler and wetter than the rest of the year, with rain tending to exceed 50 mm per month, but much of this typically falls as snow, This year the weather has been both warmer and wetter than is typical, with heavy rains falling on the city, which may have caused problems for construction workers unused to such conditions.
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