23 December 2010

Reports of landslides in California and Colombia

Posted by Dave Petley

News reports coming out of Colombia this morning suggest that there has been yet another large landslide in that battered country.  Colombia Reports is carrying a story that a landslide occurred yesterday in Santander Province in the north of the country.  The landslide is reported to have struck a small hamlet between Rionegro and El Playon, destroying the a number of houses and reportedly burying 20 people.  There’s not much news on this at the moment; hopefully more will emerge during the day.

Meanwhile, on the day that I finally left California yet another “Pineapple Express” rainstorm blew in, triggering floods and landslides across a wide area.  I have been trying to collate a list of reported landslides:

  • La Conchita: This is probably the most infamous landslide site in recent years in the US, having been the site of two very large landslides in 1995 and then 2005.  A further slide occurred here yesterday, not as large as the earlier events, but still substantial.  The Daily Sound reports that the landslide was shallow but had a surface area of 12,000 square feet (about 1,100 square metres), whilst the Los Angeles Times reports that a geologist brought in to investigate the site  has stated that the landslide is likely to move further.  The Google Earth image below, taken before the slide yesterday, demonstrates clearly why there is such concern about this site:

  • Green Valley Lake in San Bernadino has reportedly suffered from mudslides that have blocked the access roads, effectively isolating the community.
  • Another landslide reportedly blocked a feeder road for Interstate Highway 10 at the transition to State Route 57 in the Pomona area, blocking three lanes of the road.
  • The town of Highland in San Bernadino County has reportedly been hit by one or more mudslides, damaging 20 houses and burying many cars.

There are many others I’m sure.  Please add more in comments and I’ll try to update the page.