During a typical monsoon lives are lost each year by this annual event never mind the alteration in the landscape and a warming planet.
Nepal's people and rescue workers are in for some hard times. The land has shifted considerably and we are also looking at an unusual weather threat. One of the reasons we cancelled our Everest season this year was due to the El Nino Modoki phenomenon, to us this meant more than normal moisture in the Himalayas. Not just the pacific warming but a global oceanic warming reeking havoc in the mountains. So far it's appeared to play out as thought on Everest in 2015. Teams were way behind their normal progress and it hasn't changed to the better since the earthquake.
Here's an excerpt from the Weather Channels website on how landslides work.
"By definition, a landslide is when the topsoil of an area essentially 'loses its grip' on the underlying
|Sun Koshi landslide August 2014 - Nepal|
The most dramatic events are the ones that happen very quickly, and those are also the most dangerous.
Often times, though, gravity has a helping hand. Earthquakes can produce an intense jolt that suddenly loosens the grip of friction between the top soil and underlying bedrock on nearby slopes.
The overwhelming 'ally' for gravity in its fight for supremacy, though, is water!!!!
Not to forget the most recent landslide during the August 2014 monsoon season where a lake was created by a slide that threatened hundreds of villagers below. http://www.ekantipur.com/2014/08/02/top-story/massive-landslide-blocks-sunkoshi-river-8-killed/393024.html