Officials are keeping quiet as to how and why houses have appeared on the unstable hillside " />

Baku hit by another two landslides

Officials are keeping quiet as to how and why houses have appeared on the unstable hillside

Another two landslides occurred in Baku today following the one which took place earlier this week in Badamdar.

The first was in the village of Bayil where it caused the collapse of a residential complex, as well as cracks to appear in the walls of neighboring buildings. The second occurred near the city centre and shifted the pavement some 60 metres.

Bayil (as well as Badamdar) is an area in Baku that is prone to landslides. The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources says the incident arose due to human error as the homes were built on unstable ground. The stability of the ground was further worsened by waste water seeping into the ground.

This is the slope of what is commonly referred to as Bayil mountain. Every year during the rainy season, the ground begins to shift. Regardless, buildings, one-story homes and villas are constructed without the necessary permission being obtained from the authorities. Despite the landslide which took place on the first day in Badamdar, construction continued just a hundred metres from the site of the collapse. The smell at the site confirms the hypothesis that waste from the homes which are built far from the city’s sewage system goes straight into the ground.

The law stipulates that the State Property Issues Committee is responsible for selling land and issuing permits for the construction of homes. After the incident in Badamdar, the question arose as to how so many illegal buildings were allowed to be constructed in the area. Some officials have pointed to “non-specific individuals” who gave permission long ago to build on the unstable land, and have called for them to be held accountable.

As for the shifting sidewalk in Baku: a multistory building is being constructed nearby, but construction guidelines are not being followed. A bout of rain swept the already unstable earth away, claims Anar Najafli, a representative of the Highway State Agency.

The large number of landslides which have occurred over the past week has become the subject of much anger and sarcasm on social media:

“When will the officials who launder money this way finally go to jail?”

“If it goes on like this, the whole city will soon be swept away.”

“Baku is going to sink into the sea.”

“We need to stop the construction of high-rise buildings, upgrade the sewer network of the city and build drainage facilities where there are underground rivers. Otherwise, the city will turn into ruins.”

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