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May 2009 Mudslides

Posted by msrb on May 16, 2009

Mudslides: Deadly Natural Hazards Enhanced by Human Activity

Large scale mudslides caused by heavy rainfalls yesterday damaged at least 200 homes in three villages in  Khatlon’s Khuroson district in southwester Tajikistan.

The authorities have been unable to assess the extent of damage caused by the disaster as most parts of  the villages are buried in the mud avalanche.


Mudslides hit three villages in Khuroson. Photo: Asia-Plus. Image may be subject to copyright.

“District hospital # 2 located in the settlement of Uyali was seriously damaged by the powerful mudslide and it currently does not work. All patients from this hospital have been evacuated to Qurghon Teppa and the central district hospital in the administrative center of Khuroson. A temporary camp for the mudslide-affected people has been set up.” Asia Plus reported.

“The source noted that mudslides had hit a number of other districts in Khatlon as well. Thus, seven residential buildings were damaged in the village of Pakhtakor in the Jilikul district; four of them were destroyed completely. Mudslides also demolished 50 hectares of cotton fields in the Panj district, damaged the section of the road Qurghon Teppa-Panj near the village of Somoni and partially damaged eight residential buildings in the Qumsangir district.”

A mountainous country in Central Asia, Tajikistan is landlocked by Kyrgyzstan to the north, Afghanistan to the south, People’s Republic of China to the east and Uzbekistan to the west.

This was the second large-scale mudslide to strike the area in less than three weeks.

Pitkin County, Colorado
On Monday mudslide toppled trees, rupturing an oil tank and causing oil spills at Buttermilk Ski Area in Pitkin County, in the US state of Colorado.

The slide was 60-feet wide by 100-feet long. No one was inside the shop and no one was injured as the mud came down over a two-hour period this afternoon, said Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle.

South Africa: Winter Rains a Mudslide Threat Following Fire

“The authorities are watching the denuded slopes of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak carefully for any signs of a mudslide like those that damaged homes in the Clifton and Vredehoek areas in the 1990s, following devastating mountain fires.

“In March a fire raged across the slopes of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, consuming large tracts of veld and leaving the mountain devoid of soil-holding vegetation.

“Now the bare mountain poses another threat as winter sets in. There is a possibility that heavy rains could cause slides of debris, rocks and branches which could destroy roads and property from the Rhodes Memorial to parts of the CBD.” More …

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