23 October 2015

An astonishing new landslide video from an artisanal mine

Posted by dr-dave

A landslide in an artisanal mine in Colombia

An amazing new video has appeared on youtube showing a landslide in what appears to be an artisanal (i.e. small scale, unofficial) mine:-

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The text on the original Youtube posting said:-

Unemployment forces these people to risk their lives every day in these mines. Just last Wednesday there was a large landslide that caused a great tragedy in the village of San Antonio in the municipality of Santander de Quilichao, in an illegal mine where gold is mined . This is due in large part to the neglect of the state, because the rulers are more occupied in their political confrontations in their own town

The video is dated 31st March 2015, which would mean that the landslide occurred on 25th March.  But actually it seems more likely that this is the collapse that occurred on 20th April 2014.  The reported death toll of this event was 16 people.

The truly horrifying danger of working in these conditions is all too clear, with the miners actively undermining the slope, in deeply weathered soil, in order to access the gold.  The failure of the slope itself is rapid and catastrophic, and the rate at which the debris overruns everything in its path is remarkable:

artisanal mine

Landslide in an artisanal mine via youtube

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artisanal mine

Landslide in an artisanal mine via youtube

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The power of the displacement wave is also dreadful to behold.