20 December 2012
Updated below with additional landslides
The UK is today receiving the effects of another intense rainfall event, as the Met Office Rain Radar image below shows:
This rainfall, although not truly exceptional, is falling onto ground that has been left saturated during repeated bouts of recent precipitation, leaving conditions that favour landslides and floods. Unsurprisingly then reports of landslide activity are starting to appear on the newswires and on Twitter, with more to come. News of landslides so far includes:
- The A83 at Rest and Be Thankful in Scotland is once again under a landslide warning (this is a common landslide hotspot).
- There are reports of a landslide at Frog Lane in Braunton, Devon.
- The A386 in Weare Gifford in Devon is blocked in a landslide
- Trains between Fareham and Eastleigh in Hampshire are not running because both lines are blocked by a landslide (from Twitter)
- Quarry Lane in Exeter in Devon is partially blocked by a landslide (from Twitter)
- B4195 Stourport Road is closed by a landslide (from Twitter)
- There is a progressive failure occurring on the Oxford Road near Boars Hill. Image from Twitter by Freddie Whittaker:
- Back Lane in Swainby, North Yorkshire is closed due to a landslide
The situation seems particularly serious in the Isle of Wight, here there seems to be many incidences of floods. This twitter feed provides good coverage of these problems. The southern side of the Isle of Wight is a world-famous landslide prone area, so the long-term effects of this rainfall will be very interesting. The recent heavy rainfall has already caused multiple closures of coastal paths, especially in South-West England; expect more in the coming months.
The rain is expected to clear away overnight, but there is another large event forecast for tomorrow evening and into Saturday. More landslides seem inevitable, especially now that the deep-seated landslide systems seem to be active again.