Thursday, 25 August 2016

Landslide at Hindu Shrine kills at least one.

One person has died and it is feared more are trapped under debris after a landslide at the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in the Trikuta Mountains in Reasi District of Jammu and Kashmir State, India, on Wednesday 24 August 2016. The dead man has been identified as Harbinder Singh, a member of the 6th Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force from Hoshiarpur in Punjab.

The scene of the 24 August 2016 Vaishno Devi Shrine landslide. Times of India.

The Jammu and Kashmir region is extremely prone to landslides, due to a number of active faults in the area, these being driven by the northward movement of the Indian Plate, which is pushing into Eurasia at a rate of 40 mm a year. This causes earthquakes on both plates, as well as the folding and uplift that has created the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. Typically this is more of a problem in the monsoon season in July and August, when rainfall often exceeds 650 mm per month in many areas.

Monsoons are tropical sea breezes triggered by heating of the land during the warmer part of the year (summer). Both the land and sea are warmed by the Sun, but the land has a lower ability to absorb heat, radiating it back so that the air above landmasses becomes significantly warmer than that over the sea, causing the air above the land to rise and drawing in water from over the sea; since this has also been warmed it carries a high evaporated water content, and brings with it heavy rainfall. In the tropical dry season the situation is reversed, as the air over the land cools more rapidly with the seasons, leading to warmer air over the sea, and thus breezes moving from the shore to the sea (where air is rising more rapidly) and a drying of the climate. This situation is particularly intense in South Asia, due to the presence of the Himalayas. High mountain ranges tend to force winds hitting them upwards, which amplifies the South Asian Summer Monsoon, with higher winds leading to more upward air movement, thus drawing in further air from the sea. 

Diagrammatic representation of wind and rainfall patterns in a tropical monsoon climate. Geosciences/University of Arizona.

See also...

Landslide kills four in Jammu in Kashmir.   Four people have died and another seven have recieved hospital treatment after a landslide hit a shelter occupied by a group of pilgrims and their guides on the Banganga-Ardhkuwari Road close to the cave shrine...
Kashmir landslide kills two.                          Two men have died in a landslide hit the hamlet of Baba Ghale in Baramulla District, Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday 3 April 2015. Two other people were reported to have been injured in the event. All four were...

Seven people, including at least one child are known to have died following a landslide which destroyed four houses at Laldan in the Budgam District of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday 30  March 2015. It is feared at...

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