9 June 2011

Some notable landslides in the last week

Posted by Dave Petley

As I noted in my previous post, we are now just entering the global landslide season.  In the last week there has been a marked increase in significant landslides in the Northern Hemisphere.  Clearly, during the summer I won’t be highlighting the vast majority of those that occur, but thought it would be interesting just to draw attention to just a few of those that have happened in the last week:

1. Heavy rains in Haiti

The potentially strong hurricane season in 2011 is a real concern for the earthquake affected areas in Haiti.  With vast numbers of people still living in temporary camps, the all the ingredients in the recipe are in place for a major disaster; it is depressing that progress is so slow.  Heavy rains at the start of the week served to highlight the vulnerability, with 25 people reportedly being killed in floods and landslides.  A further person was reportedly killed in the Dominican Republic.

2. A quarry landslide in Vietnam

A large mudslide killed two women in a quarry in Chu Trinh Commune in Cao Bang.  The report suggests that it took 12 days to recover their bodies.

3. Blockage the Karakoram Highway in Pari, Pakistan

The Karakoram Highway was blocked on 30th May by a large landslide, possibly resulting from road widening works.  At the time of the report the road had been blocked for five days, and was expected to remain in that state for a further two.

4. A large earthflow in Keene Valley, New York State

Thanks to the several people who highlighted an interesting large, creeping landslide in the Keene valley in New York state, USA, which is causing damage to a number of houses on Porter Mountain.  The Geology in Motion blog has a nice post on this event.

5. A cloud burst in Indian Kashmir

Initial reports this morning suggest that there may have been a substantial cloud burst-induced event in the Baggar area on the Batote-Kishtwar highway.  The initial reports suggest that a substantial portion of highway, including vehicles and shops, were destroyed in landslides.  The reported death toll is three, with many more feared to be missing.