“This is a dirty season” commented a girl I met in the village of Jagat, located in the Budhi Gandaki valley in Nepal. She was at home when the frightening roar of the landslide that wiped out half of Paimo village was heard during the night in late September this year. Many locals commented that this Monsoon season was “blessed” with rains. In many places the steep mountain slopes of the Budhi Gandaki valley became too wet, too soaked, and started to slide.
Numerous small landslides took place this rainy season. As travelers, sleeping in a small guest house in Tatopani, stuck under a huge cliff beside the gushing river and hearing the sound of a minor landslide was scaring enough.
Here’s a relatively minor landslide north of Tatopani. Note the porter crossing the newly created rocky trail. The path on a fresh landslide is extremely unstable, and any pressure can trigger additional slide.
… be careful when bypassing this one
But we really understood the devastating force of landslides when we walked out of Jagat, passed the village of Salleri, and reached what used to be the village of Paimo.
Locals carrying loads struggle to find a way through the rocks. This is the wave of rocks that poured from the mountain
and a frozen mud waterfall seen from beneath
Villagers from Paimo felt the coming danger and went to sleep in neighboring villages. Luckily nobody was hurt in this landslide.
From the main street of the village looking south, the mud wave can be seen, cutting the village in half. It took the other half of the village with it.
The mud river
Locals finding a way to cross in the mud
As we continued north in the Budhi Gandaki narrow valley we could see again the lively village of Salleri we passed before, located just south of Paimo. We could then realize that Salleri is located under a similar mountain slope, prone just as much to such deadly landslides…