10 January 2014

Abaetetuba landslide: more information and photographs

Posted by Dave Petley

The Abaetetuba landslide was indeed a landslide

More information has emerged about the Abaetetuba landslide.  Yesterday I speculated that the video of the “sinkhole” at “Abadetetub” was in fact a riverbank collapse event at Abaetetuba; I’m pleased to say that this is the case.  Thanks to everyone who sent information in comments and by Twitter.  Raphael Rocha pointed me to an article (in Portuguese) on the G1 website, which provides some detail about the site of the Abaetetuba landslide.  In particular, it seems to suggest that the houses were built on fill material that includes “debris, trash, broken tiles, clay, organic matter”.  In total, 13 houses were destroyed, 78 families were affected and 106 people were left homeless.

Images of the landslide aftermath

A number of images of the site are now available.  This is probably the most useful:

Abaetetuba landslide



On the ground the landslide looks like this (from a larger gallery of images):

Abaetetuba landslide



The images also indicate that other sections of the area are potentially unstable:

Abaetetuba landslide



Locating the Abaetetuba landslide and the associated hazard

Unfortunately the Google Earth imagery is 12 years or so out of date, whilst the Bing Maps imagery is very low resolution, so at present I cannot find the exact location of this landslide.  The challenge in the near future for the local government and their geologists will be to determine how many other houses along the river front are at risk of a similar event.  They will then need to decide how to manage the hazard.  If the Abaetetuba landslide had occurred at night the effects could have been far worse of course.