1 May 2016

Do not miss this: video of a catastrophic landslide in loess in Kyrgyzstan

Posted by dr-dave

A video of a catastrophic landslide in loess in Kyrgyzstan

A video has appeared on Youtube that shows a catastrophic landslide in loess (I am assuming it is loess) in Kyrgyzstan.  I keep thinking that I have seen it all in landslide videos, and then one pops up to shock.  This is genuinely astounding, without doubt the most amazing of the year so far, and probably in my all time top ten:

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The text that goes with the video says the following:

Two landslides occurred on April 27, 2016 at the Uch-Chat Pasture located nearby the village of Almaluu-Bulak in Jalal-Abad region.  The first landslide came down at about 5.40 pm local time, amounting to at least 100 thousand cubic meters. It vanished a summer house built on the pasture.  The second landslide came down at about 6.00 pm. Its volume reached 1 million 600 thousand cubic meters, which killed the 14-year-old boy who was grazing the livestock in the area.

I am unsure as to whether this is the first or second landslide – my assumption is the second given its size and given the existing landslide deposit visible in the video:

landslide in Kyrgyzstan

Still from a Youtube video showing the loess landslide in Kyrgyzstan

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The landslide appears to be dry given the amount of dust being generated.  Note the way that the loess is behaving like a fluid – the wave form evident in the video is remarkably reminiscent of a tsunami making landfall.

There is footage of the aftermath of the landslide in these two videos (HTC and KTRKKG):

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The first of these two videos has a decent shot of the provides an overview of the landslide:

landslide in kyrgyzstan

Still from a video showing the loess landslide in Kyrgyzstan

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Note the way that the landslide has super-elevated (travelled up the slope) as it has going around the bends in the valley.  This is an indication of high velocities.  The cause of the landslide is of course deeply intriguing, but with a lack of ability to understand any of the television footage I can provide no insight.  I will try to find out more.