9 November 2012

More news of landslides from the Guatemala earthquake and first reports of a landslide dam break flood in Indonesia

Posted by Dave Petley

A little more detail is emerging of landslides triggered by Wednesday’s M = 7.4 earthquake in GuatemalaConred is reporting that 52 people lost their lives, with a further 22 reported missing.

From a landslide perspective perhaps most interesting is the image below, taken by Prensa Libre and posted on Twitter, of a landslide in Concepción Chiquirichapa.  The commentary suggests that eight people were buried. This news report (in Spanish) confirms that all eight victims were killed in the quarry.


Meanwhile, this news report suggests that two people, including a nine-year old girl, were killed in a landslide at Zunil whilst collecting garbage, and that one person was killed on Mount La Muela in a rockfall.  From what I can work out, this is in addition to the quarry landslide that I reported yesterday in San Marcos (see this report for example), which seems to have killed seven people.

If so, this would generate a tally of 18 landslide-related deaths out of a total 52 known fatalities.  The typical ratio for landslide related deaths during an earthquake in a mountainous area is about 30% of the total – for this earthquake it appears to be in the range 24 to 35%, i.e. it is quite typical.

Meanwhile, from Indonesia there are some very early reports of a landslide dam collapse and resulting flood at Batanguru village in Mamasa district, Sulawesi.  Reports vary somewhat as to the losses, but the most detailed report so far indicates 11 fatalities and seven people missing.  More details of this should emerge during the day.