6 January 2009
The Guatemala landslide was caught on video!
Posted by Dave Petley
Unbelievably, it turns out that the Guatemalan landslide, which it appears killed at least 42 people, was caught on video. Geologist Marlon Contreras was recording at the edge of the site when the failure occurred. The video captures the movement, although mercifully little of the detail. The video can be viewed at this web page:
The failure that happens 1 minute and 50 seconds into the video defies belief! I urge you to take a look at the video.
Meanwhile, and quite rightly, rescue operations have been halted due to the dangers of continued falling rocks to the rescuers. Given that there is no possibility of any survivors this has to be the right decision, harsh though it undoubtedly is.
Finally, there is still a huge variation in the reported number of victims. Prensa Libre is reporting that 42 people were affected, but other news agencies suggest that it might be double this total, or even more.
Very impressive. It could be seen through the dust storm that motion is extremely rapid (almost as a free fall) and it is real sliding, practically without rolling – the same phenomenon that can be observed in the deposits of old events.