Concerns raised over recent landslides in Baku

By: Amina Nazarli

The increasing number of landslides in different parts of Baku and the Absheron Peninsula this October has raised fears among the population.

Construction work on the slopes of Baku and the Absheron Peninsula, the use of a watering yard, the outpouring of groundwater on the surface, and other factors are the cause of these landslides, which have been a problem in the past as well, Alemdar Piriyev, senior geologist at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences told the local media.

He underlined the need to keep these processes under constant control and to adopt measures to mitigate and prevent landslides.

The chief geologist said technogenic and anthropogenic factors also play a significant role in creating a dangerous situation in Baku and its suburbs.

“Therefore, in order to offset the threat of landslides, construction work should be banned on the outskirts of the city, watering of trees should be done at a measured pace, and wastewater should flow through the pipes to the citywide sewer,” he noted.

In early October, a landslide occurred in front of the bus terminal on the road heading toward Baku. It caused damage to the retaining wall and large cracks in the terminal adjacent to the road. The cause of the landslide is believed to have been rainfall, leaking water, and excessive irrigation from nearby greenery.

Piriyev also touched upon the region having experienced landslides due to the heavy rains in recent days.

From November 7 to 10, Lankaran was hit by heavy rains. The mudslides in the Lankaran-Astara zone have created a tense situation in the region.

Because of flooding, officers failed to investigate the landslide pockets in a timely manner, he said, adding that the landslide area in Lankaran had significantly expanded.

In the region’s Gargivan Village, the number of landslides has increased to 20; in Bilasar and Kekhnegagir, there are two landslide areas; while in Osakucha and Gerayench, there is just one. Baliton has 5-6 landslide areas.

Lerik’s Bradi, Zuvudj, Molagan, and Dastel villages saw two landslides recently. Soil subsidence was seen in Masalli’s Erkivan, Iskenderli, and Sigdash villages.

Landslides occur frequently in the foothills of Azerbaijan. Many landslide zones exist in Lerik, Yardimli, on Shamakhi Road, and in the Absheron Peninsula.

Earlier, in December 2014, the Geography Institute reported that the number of areas in Azerbaijan that are prone to landslides has increased fourfold in the past 24 years.


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