Landslides in Nepal

Nepal has been subject to some devastating landslides. Unfortunately landslides are not the only natural disaster to regularly hit Nepal.

July 2007, has seen yet more deaths from landslides in Nepal. On this occasion, the landslides have occurred in remote villages.

Landslides in Nepal are one of the most common natural hazards, claiming a significant number of lives each year and resulting in untold damage to the environment.

The consequences of landslides are devastating wherever they occur – Nepal is no exception.  Recent landslides in Nepal have resulted in the loss of farming land, agricultural production, livestock, homes, villages and road networks.  Those who may keep their homes in Nepal may be affected by other consequences of landslides such as loss of power in the home or telecommunications.

At least 75% of landslides in Nepal are caused by the natural movement of land – particularly in the mountainous areas of Nepal. The landslides may also be caused by the erosion of land by rivers, small / large earthquakes, the result of melting glaciers.  However, following the recent landslides in Nepal, Environmentalists have cited the silting of river beds, soil erosion and the growing population as additional causative factors of landslides in Nepal.

Sadly, due to the difficult terrain of Nepal – particularly in the mountainous regions, it is often difficult to send help to landslide areas immediately. Equally, it is also difficult in many areas in Nepal to send the equipment necessary to help locate and rescue landslide survivors.

Nepal is not only subject to landslides.  Other common natural disasters have included earthquakes, forest fires and glacier movements.

As a world we are currently experiencing what appears to be an increase in natural disasters.  Although we are relatively powerless universities across the world are making extraordinary steps in helping us to predict landslides and other disasters both in Nepal and elsewhere.

Researchers for Durham University may well have made discoveries which will assist countries such as Nepal who are so powerless in these events.

Using soil sample techniques, the researchers have been able to predict the point at which landslides are likely to occur.  Due to the foresight of these techniques, it means that if applied to areas of Nepal which are frequent victims of landslides that it may be possible to predict landslides and to move evacuate potential victims to areas of safety well before they occur.

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