7 December 2010

Update on the landslide in Colombia

Posted by Dave Petley

According to the latest report in El Tiempo, the large landslide in La Gabriela, Bello in Colombia is now through to have killed 124 people.  Of these victims, the bodies of 36 people have been recovered to date, but rescue operations are being hampered by concerns about the potential for further landslides.  The landslide itself is now thought to have had a volume of about 8000 cubic metres and a crown to toe length of about 300 metres.  Although not huge, the slide buried 35 poorly constructed houses at 2:30 pm (local time), resulting in the major loss of life.

There are few good images of the site that allow interpretation of the process of the slide.  The best two that I have seen are these:



Based upon this the landslide looks to have been a moderately deep earthflow type failure, with quite a large run out, suggesting a fairly mobile mass.  Unfortunately to date I have not been able to locate the site of the landslide on a map.  Has anyone been able to pin this down as yet, as I would like to take a look at the imagery of the topography before the landslide.