Deaths from landslides up to 10 times worse than thought
PARIS (AFP) - The death toll from landslides is 10 times higher than generally estimated, with most fatalities occurring in South Asia, China and Latin America, according to a British study published on Thursday.
In the seven years between 2004 and 2010, 2,620 fatal landslides occurred around the world, causing 32,322 deaths, researchers at Durham University, north-eastern England said, adding that the figure was conservative.
Fatalities occur most during the northern hemisphere's summer, especially during the Asian monsoon, and among densely-populated slums built on deforested slopes, they said.
Hotspots in Asia include the southern edge of the Himalayas, Sri Lanka, the Chinese coasts and the mountains around the Sichuan basin in central China, Taiwan and the Philippines, the island of Java in Indonesia.