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May 22, 2016

Landslide in Nainital - September 1880

Nainital before landslide
Nainital before landslide

Nainital after landslide
Nainital after landslide

In September 1880 a landslide (the Landslip of 1880) occurred at the north end of the town, burying 151 people. The first known landslide had occurred in 1866, and in 1879 there was a larger one at the same spot, Alma Hill, but "the great slip occurred in the following year, on Saturday 18 September 1880." "Two days preceding the slip there was heavy rain, ... 20 inches (508 millimetres) to 35 in (889 mm) fell during the 40 hours ending on Saturday morning, and the downpour still lasted and continued for hours after the slip. This heavy fall naturally brought down streams of water from the hill side, some endangering the Victoria Hotel, ... (which) was not the only building threatened ... Bell's shop, the Volunteer Orderly Room and the Hindu (Naina Devi) temple were scenes of labour with a view to diverting streams. At a quarter to two the landslip occurred burying those in and around the buildings mentioned above." The total number of dead and missing were 108 Indian and 43 British nationals. (See poem by Hannah Battersby on the page Literary references to Nainital). The Assembly Rooms and the Naina Devi Temple were both destroyed in the disaster. A recreation area known as 'The Flats' was later built on the site and a new temple was also erected. To prevent further disasters, storm water drains were constructed and building bylaws were made stricter. (wikipedia)

Source: ebay