20 September 2013

First images of the La Pintada landslide in Mexico

Posted by dr-dave

As expected, images have started to emerge of the La Pintada landslide in Mexico, which is now believed to have killed 68 people earlier this week.  A good overview image that I have found is this one from AFP:

13_09 La Pintada 3

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This does confirm the location that I identified yesterday:

13_09 La Pintada..

I have tried to reconstruct the viewpoint of the above photo in Google Earth:

13_09 La Pintada 4

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It is clear from this image that the main part of the landslide has gone right through the middle of the town.

Meanwhile, the website http://www.novedadesacapulco.mx/ has this excellent image of the landslide:

13_09 La Pintada 7

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The landslide source appears to be quite a large, comparatively deep-seated translational landslide in deeply weathered soil, which has then entrained debris to become a large flow.   There is no sign of any geological structure in the source area, but at the toe of the source it appears to have over-ridden a topographical bench that is probably structurally-controlled.  The same site has this more detailed view of the head scarp of the landslide, which is surprisingly deep:

13_09 La Pintada 8

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The Mexican website (in Spanish) eleconomista.co.mx has this rather low resolution image of the aftermath in the town at the toe of the landslide:

13_09 La Pintada 5..

Again, I have tried to reconstruct that view in Google Earth:

13_09 La Pintada 6

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There is a large number of buildings beneath the debris; the likelihood of there being any survivors of the landslide seems to be very low.