16 December 2009

Ten years ago today – the Vargas landslide disaster

Posted by Dave Petley

Today is the tenth anniversary of probably the greatest landslide disaster in living memory – the 1999 Vargas landslide catastrophe in Venezuela. On 14th-16th December 1999 a coastal storm in Vargas triggered multiple debris flows that swept onto the densely populated river deltas below. It is estimated that 30,000 people died.

The USGS summary of the event, which remains the best starting place to understand the disaster, is here, which is the source of both photos.

Note the size of the boulder wedged into the side of this building.