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Landslide In Northern Nepal Leaves 8 Dead, Hundreds Missing

At least eight people are dead after a landslide ripped through northern Nepal early Saturday. Hundreds of others are feared missing.
Posted at 8:21 AM, Aug 03, 2014

At least eight people are dead after a massive landslide in northern Nepal early Saturday. Now, officials are searching for hundreds of others still missing. 

Al Jazeera reports the slide buried more than two dozen homes along a local river. Mud from the slide has now blocked the river, causing concerns about flash flooding and prompting thousands of residents to evacuate the area.

According to The New York Times, officials are trying to find a way to prevent that flooding by dropping explosives from helicopters to unblock the river. Officials worry the unblocked river could still cause massive flooding.

The Wall Street Journal notes landslides like the most recent one aren't uncommon for Nepal's steep terrain — especially this time of year when South Asia is in its monsoon season.

Earlier this week, more than 60 people were killed after a slide buried a village in western India in the middle of the night. The rescue effort for survivors was delayed several times because of heavy rain. (Via BBC)

And scientists say the number of landslides in the region are rising. The BBC cites scientists who say there was a steep increase in the number of landslides in Nepal from 2005 to 2012 because of more heavy rainfall patterns and more seismic activity.

Nepalese officials have warned neighboring India to stay on alert — urging the country to open a crucial floodgate along the border if flash flooding becomes an issue.