17 May 2017

A new video of the giant Kurbu-Tash landslide in Kyrgyzstan

Posted by Dave Petley

A new video of the giant Kurbu-Tash landslide in Kyrgyzstan

AKI Press has posted to Youtube a new video of the extremely large Kurbu-Tash landslide in Kyrgyzstan:-


The accompanying text states that:-

The landslide that started moving and damaging houses earlier engulfed 56 houses in total, the press service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations said.  As of May 13, some 35 power poles and several social objects are among those damaged by landslide.  No victims were reported. The residents of the village have been earlier relocated.  Employees of the Ministry removed all valuable things from houses and objects.  Now 61 houses, a school, a kindergarten, a rural health post and a mosque are under the landslide threat.  The massive landslide with the volume of 2.8 million cubic meters hit Kurbu-Tash village on April 23-24 and damaged 84.8 ha of agricultural land.

A couple of things of interest in this landslide.  First, as I noted in my earlier post about this landslide, it is a reactivation of a portion of a much larger relict landslide complex.  This complex can be clearly seen in the part of the video below:

Kurbu-Tash landslide

The relict landslide complex that was the source of the Kurbu-Tash landslide. Still from a Youtube video by AKI Press.


Note the hummocky terrain that is so characteristic of landslides, and the huge lateral scarp cutting across the landscape. Second, there are signs that this landslide is very actively retrogressing and enlarging.  The still from the video is particularly revealing, showing multiple areas of new failure:

Kurbu-Tash landslide

Areas of enlargement of the Kurbu-Tash landslide in Kyrgyzstan. Still from a Youtube video by AKI Press


It is notable that this landslide is enlarging away from the main track of the slide.  Unfortunately there seems little to stop further retrogression, with devastating effects on the grassland landscape. Sadly the spate of landslides in Kyrgyzstan this year shows no sign of ceasing – this report provides details of yet another major landslide yesterday, and a very lucky escape for the occupants of a truck.