10. 2013 North India Floods
On June 2013, a series of devastating floods and landslides ravaged parts of the mountainous Indian state of Uttarakhand and nearby areas. More than 5,700 people lost their lives in this disaster. A multi-day cloudburst was the primary reason behind this event. The incessant and heavy rainfall triggered flash floods and mudflows that swept away all that came in the way. Rivers overflowed as the course of rivers were blocked by falling debris. Being a pilgrim and tourist hotspot, over 100,000 of these visitors were stranded during the disaster in the state. Bridge collapses and road blockages in many parts of the affected region made rescue efforts difficult. The army was deployed to rescue people and take them back to safe grounds.
9. 2010 Gansu Mudslide
The second deadliest landslide disaster of the 21st century happened on August 8, 2010, at Zhouqu County in China. The landslide that was triggered by heavy rainfall happened at midnight claiming the lives of many unaware victims. Over 1,471 people were killed and more were injured or missing. The force of the landslide wrecked multi-story buildings to pieces and the debris from the disaster buried homes and people. The debris resulting from the landslide also blocked a small river causing the river to overflow and the water swept through the disaster region in a surge up to 5 stories high. The country mourned the victims on August 15 and flags were lowered to half-mast on this day. Entertainment services on this day, both online and offline, were suspended.
8. 2006 Southern Leyte Mudslide
At least 1,126 people in Southern Leyte, a province of the Philippines, lost their lives in a destructive landslide on February 17, 2006. The landslide was triggered by days of heavy rain and a low-magnitude earthquake. The landslide leveled the village of Guinsaugon in the Saint Bernard township. A local elementary school that was in full session at the time of the disaster was buried in the debris. Most of the schoolchildren and staff also perished.
7. Siaolin Mudslide
A deadly mudslide ravaged the small village of Siaolin in Taiwan’s Jiasian district on August 9, 2009. The mudslide was triggered by heavy rains from the Typhoon Morakot that brought over 60% of the average annual rainfall. The devastating impact of the landslide was further worsened when an artificial dam in the area broke. The Siaolin village was completely razed to the ground and hundreds of villagers were buried alive in the mudslide. Over 600 people lost their lives in the disaster and the economy of the village that was based on tourism and agriculture was also completely damaged.
6. 2014 Badakhshan Mudslides
The Argo District of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan Province became witness to wanton death and destruction triggered by a pair of mudslides on May 2, 2014. The slides killed over 350 individuals and according to some reports, the death toll crossed 2,500 people. The worse thing was that the second mudslide hampered the efforts of rescuers and even resulted in the deaths of many of the potential rescuers. The mudslides leveled the village and the areas were buried under 33 to 98 ft of mud.
5. Mocoa Landslide
The Putumayo department in Colombia is notorious for its history of devastating landslides. One such landslide claimed the lives of over 300 people on April 1, 2017, in the city of Mocoa. The landslide and flash floods were triggered by heavy rainfall. The disaster also left several missing persons and was recorded as the third deadliest natural disaster in the country’s history.
4. 2015 Guatemala Landslide
On October 1, 2015, heavy rain resulted in a massive landslide in Santa Catarina Pinula in Guatemala. The village of El Cambray Dos was the worst affected. More than 200 people died and several went missing following the disaster. In some places, the landslide debris was as high at 49 feet. The village was nearly completely leveled with homes and villagers being buried under the debris. Prior to the disaster, the locals of the area had been issued several warnings to clear the area and re-locate as it was a landslide-prone zone. If the public had heeded the warnings such a large-scale disaster could have been avoided.
3. 2014 Sunkoshi Blockage
A river was blocked resulting in the formation of a lake when a huge landslide occurred on August 2, 2014, at Nepal’s Sunkoshi river in the Sindhupalchok District. The landslide resulted in massive flooding of the adjacent areas. Many homes were drowned and about 156 human lives were lost in the disaster. The Nepali army was immediately set on the task to remove the blockage on the river to allow the lake’s water to drain. It took 45 days of painstaking work and the use of dynamites to create a canal through the blockage.
2. 2017 Bangladesh Landslides
A series of landslides in three hilly districts of Bangladesh, Bandarban, Chittagong, and Rangamati, on June 12, 2017, killed more than 152 people. Heavy and incessant rain on the day triggered the landslide. Other long-term factors associated with the disaster include massive deforestation of the hill slopes and settlements of poor villagers on landslide-prone hills due to lack of suitable land for settlement elsewhere.
1. 2014 Malin Landslide
The Malin landslide claimed the lives of over 150 villagers in the Malin village in the Pune district of the Indian state of Maharashtra. The landslide happened in the early morning when many people were fast asleep. A bus driver driving through the area was the first to notify the authorities about the landslide after he noticed the village covered in mud and earth. The landslide also trapped many villagers who were later rescued. Heavy rainfall triggered the landslide but several factors prevalent over the long-term also had a role to play in the disaster. These factors included unplanned development, massive deforestation, construction of dams, and a shift in cultivation practices.
What Was the Deadliest Landslide of the 21st Century?
The 2013 North India Floods resulted in the deadliest landslide of the 21st century. It resulted in around 5,700 casualties.
The Deadliest Landslides Of The 21st Century
|1||16 Jun 2013||Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, India||2013 North India floods||5,700|
|2||8 Aug 2010||Gansu, China||2010 Gansu mudslide||1,287|
|3||17 Feb 2006||Southern Leyte, Philippines||2006 Southern Leyte mudslide||1126|
|4||9 Aug 2009||Siaolin Village, Kaohsiung, Taiwan||Siaolin mudslide||439–600|
|5||2 May 2014||Argo District, Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan||2014 Badakhshan mudslides||350–500 reported|
|6||2 April 2017||Mocoa, Colombia||2017 Mocoa landslide||314|
|7||1 October 2015||El Cambray Dos, Guatemala Department, Guatemala||2015 Guatemala landslide||220|
|8||2 Aug 2014||Sunkoshi, Sindhupalchok District, Nepal||2014 Sunkoshi blockage||156+|
|9||12 June 2017||Rangamati, Chittagong and Bandarban, Bangladesh||2017 Bangladesh landslides||152|
|10||30 Jul 2014||Malin, Ambegaon taluka, Pune district, Maharashtra, India||2014 Malin landslide||136|
|11||11 Jun 2007||Chittagong, Bangladesh||2007 Chittagong mudslides||123|
|12||6 Sep 2008||Cairo, Egypt||2008 Cairo landslide||119|
|13||1 Mar 2010||Bududa District, Uganda||2010 Ugandan landslide||100–300|
|14||29 Oct 2014||Badulla District, Sri Lanka||2014 Badulla landslide||100+|
|15||18 May 2015||Salgar, Antioquia Department Colombia||2015 Colombian landslide||78|
|16||23 Apr 2015||Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan||2015 Badakhshan landslides||52|
|17||20 Aug 2014||Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan||2014 Hiroshima landslides||50+|
|18||22 Mar 2014||Oso, Washington, United States||2014 Oso mudslide||43|
|19||20 Feb 2010||Madeira Island, Portugal||2010 Madeira floods and mudslides||42|
|20||9 Nov 2001||Amboori, Kerala, India||40|
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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