Mudslides in India
At least 48 people have died in northern India's Himalayan region amid mudslides and flash floods induced by severe rains since the weekend. Rescue operations continued yesterday at the site of a collapsed Hindu temple in Shimla, 200 miles north of New Delhi, where nine people were killed and dozens more feared trapped.
The southern Himalayan region, which cuts across northern India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, typically sees dangerous mudslides (watch overview) during its June to September monsoon season, when the bulk of the region's precipitation falls. Sudden bursts of substantial rainfall—known as cloudbursts—can dump 4 inches of rain per hour. The Himalayas are also vulnerable to flash flooding from the region's 2,000 glacial lakes, 200 of which are at risk of bursting as rising temperatures cause glaciers to melt more rapidly.