Monday, August 9, 2010

Leh disaster vs "The Swamp was Upside Down"

This has reference to Thursday night's massive disaster at the Himalyan city of Leh in India, located some 3.5 km above sea level: a mass of topsoil several km wide & up to 20m tall began moving, loosened by torrential rains. By the time it stopped some 6 km away, it had gobbled up everything in its path - parts of Leh & 3 villages nearby.

While most media coverage has focused on rescue efforts & human interest stories, the little technical coverage I've seen makes the situation here look very similar to that in Murray Leinster's "The Swamp Was Upside Down" (download). In Leinster's version, the culprit in fragile ecology was excessive irrigation rather than heavy rains.


Rich said...

Ooh, I just love Murray's books and short stories. His science is a bit off, but I love his storytelling and open-minded way of looking at things.

Any must-read recommendations?
I've only sampled a few of his stories. "Runaway Sykscaper" I remember my name off the top of my head, along with a Hugo nomination of his. I took me a very long time to learn that Sphex was actually a meaningful word in zoology.

Tinkoo said...

"Any must-read recommendations?"

Rich: I'll may be assemble a list during the weekend?

Tinkoo said...

See here.