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31 July 2011

Terrifying Power of South Korea Landslide

In rain-soaked South Korea, residents are still digging through the aftermath of two days of torrential downpours, which brought floods and landslides to Seoul and surrounding towns, killing dozens of people, stranding countless others, and destroying property and homes.
The terrifying speed and power of a landslide was caught on video from a high-rise apartment building overlooking one of the collapsing slopes in the capital city.

The death toll from both flooding and landslides now stands at 57, the Los Angeles Times reported.

South Korea has been drenched with some of the heaviest rain to hit the country in several decades.

Deadly landslides most often occur after periods of sudden heavy rain.The water soaks the soil that underlies hilly terrain, weakening it until it can no longer withstand the extra weight, prompting debris flows powerful enough to sweep away buildings.

Powerful landslides also hit military installations, carrying away land mines and explosives, many of which have not been recovered.

Some researchers are looking into ways to better predict where and when landslides may occur.

In the United States alone, landslides kill 25 to 50 people every year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and cause $1 billion in damage. The numbers are dramatically higher in the developing world.

- OurAmazingPlanet