Thursday 12 November 2009

Landslides - Africa, India, South America

Heavy rain has brought deadly landslides in Africa and India. At least 38 people have been killed in the Nilgiri Hills in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Continuing monsoon rains are hampering the rescue effort, and it’s feared the death toll may rise.

While in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro province, four days of rain brought part of a mountain crashing down on the village of Goha, killing at least 20. Ironically, the area has been suffering from severe drought for the past two years.

The deadliest landslide in history was probably the one that devastated Venezuela’s coastal region in December 1999. Thirty-six inches of rain fell in just a few days, and flash floods and mudslides engulfed high rise buildings and effortlessly ripped away shanty towns perched precariously on ridges around the capital Caracas.

More than 20,000 homes were destroyed, and an estimated 140,000 people made homeless. The death toll has been estimated at anything up to 30,000. For more, see A Disastrous History of the World. (see also my blog of April 17)

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