2 June 2011
A round up of landslide events and articles that have caught my eye
Posted by Dave Petley
The world of landslides is rather busy at the moment, and we are only just coming into the main landslide season. I thought I’d post a a few landslide-related items that have caught my eye over the last week:
1. A fatal rockfall in Scotland
A woman climber was killed on the Sgurr Alasdair in the Cuillin mountains on the Isle of Skye on Tuesday when she was struck on the head by a boulder. This report suggests that the boulder was dislodged by her climbing partner. THer climbing partner and two other people climbing on the same slope were injured.
2. A fatal rockfall in Hawaii
Meanwhile, on the same day an 8 year old girl was killed by a rockfall on the Kipahulu hiking trail on Maui.
3. Fire hydrant creates a landslide in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thanks to Ernie Roumelis for the heads up on this one, and the next item too. In Homewood people using a fire hydrant to cool off triggered a landslide that knocked down a local electricity pole. There is a neat video news item about the event here. Somehow the media in the US do manage to make events sound very dramatic!
4. Another new landslide video
Landslide videos are rolling in at an amazing rate! This new one is from Glenwood Canyon in Colorado, with the slide occurring in 2004. The USGS have a webpage explaining the event here, which also allows the recording to be downloaded, and there is also a youtube version that should be viewable below:
5. An interesting sinkhole event
A somewhat dramatic sinkhole accident occurred in China earlier in the week, when a sinkhole swallowed a passing truck in Changchung City, Juilin:
The cause may well lie with the ongoing construction of a new subway system. There is a fascinating gallery of sinkholes on the Yahoo website here (thanks to Michele for the heads up on this one). As an aside, you probably know you are not destined to win a football (soccer) match when this happens…! I understand that the authorities are looking into it (surely someone cab come up with a better pun than that?).
I don’t think #5 is a sinkhole so much as a bridge failure. Some other pictures of that event show a side view and the whole section of road is actually a bridge, and it seems like one of the girders dropped out leaving a section of pavement unsupported. That or it was just under-engineered in the first place.
I think Caleb is right. The Sky news article notes that it was a bridge that failed and the vehicle dropped into the river below (although it doesn’t look like it fell all the way in). However towards the bottom of the same article, they note that in a separate incident earlier in May, a truck (sorry, lorry) fell into a sinkhole believed to be caused by ground loss associated with subway construction. You can read more about it and find links to great pictures at my website.
#5 it’s a bridge failure: