A sudden and extremely intense landslide was reported at the Manikaran Sahib Gurdwara site in Himachal Pradesh, India, on August 18, 2015. The extreme event left at least 7 people dead, and injured another 11.
A strong, high energy landslide near Kulu appears to have been a massive boulder roll which violently shattered a part of the Hindu temple and pilgrimage site of the Manikaran Sahib Gurdwara. The temple is situated on a set of hot springs at an altitude of around 1 760 m (5 774 feet). The hot springs are probably indicative of active faulting in the area, which means the adjacent slopes are unusually unstable.
Video credit: SikhSiyasat
The landslide from the higher located Gadagi village came rushing down on the place of worship (gurdwara) and hit its community kitchen and accommodation wing: “There was heavy rush of pilgrims at the gurdwara and its neighboring areas when the landslide occurred,” said Thakur Chand, head of the village.
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) August 19, 2015
The Manikaran Sahib Gurdwara site is located on a high altitude which increases its landslide potential. The CCTV footage indicates the boulder came rushing down a small gully above the gurdwara site, although it is still unclear where it originated from.
Securing the pilgrimage sites, such as Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib is both difficult and expensive, however a swift action is required as these sites attract a lot of people into landslide prone areas, which can be especially dangerous during monsoon seasons when the hazard risk is at its highest.
Featured image: Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib pilgrimage site devastated by a landslide, August 18, 2015. Credit: The New Indian Express.
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