26 September 2017
A still from the Youtube video of the landslides at El Jale in Mexico.
El Jale, Ixtapaluca: a stunning earthquake triggered landslide video from Mexico
On the day of the earthquake in Mexico I noted that there was a high chance that it would have triggered landslides. It was always unlikely that this would be efficient in so doing in the manner of, for example, the Kaikoura earthquake (due to the depth of the rupture), it had the potential to generate slides over a wide area. A video has recently been posted to Youtube that shows landslides being triggered by this event, reportedly El Jale in Ixtapaluca in Mexico City. It is spectacular:
This is a Google Earth image of the Ixtapaluca area:-
The video appears to show the collapse of a quarry wall in a comparatively rural area. The one quarry shown above does not seem to fit the video. A better fit to the video appears to a set of quarries located further to the east:-
These quarries are likely to be mining volcanic materials, which would explain both the instability and the large amounts of dust generated. It is not clear as to whether there was any losses from these landslides. One early report did suggest that a quarry worker was killed in the event, but the location was given as Morales state, so it is unlikely to be this event:
Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez reported on Twitter that at least 42 people had died in his state south of Mexico City. Gov. Alfredo del Mazo told the Televisa news network that two people died in the State of Mexico, which also borders the capital: a quarry worker who was killed when the quake unleashed a rockslide and another person who was hit by a falling lamppost.
So far this part of the area affected by the earthquake has not yet been fully images by Planet Labs. I’ll take a look when images become available.