5 February 2018

Tijuana: a major landslide has destroyed 70 houses.

Posted by Dave Petley

Tijuana: a major landslide has destroyed up to 70 houses.

On Friday a major landslide struck the city of Tijuana in Mexico, destroying up to 70 houses.  El Universal reports that the slide first became evident on 19th January, with progressive failure over the last few days, but that the major collapse occurred at about 3 pm on Friday.  The landslide occurred in the Lomas del Rubi subdivision.  The Yucatan Times has a detailed report in English that includes details on the development of the landslide:

“There was a very loud thunder,” said María Isabel González Ramos, “house were falling to pieces, there was wood, stones and cement all over the place since Monday, and things start getting worse by Tuesday, and Wednesday, the ground was literally sinking, until we could no longer enter or exit our house, we had to jump over the cracks in order to get our stuff out the house last night. ”

This is a Google Maps view of the area affected by the landslide:-


Google maps view of the Tijuana neighbourhood affected by the landslide


The houses appear to have been built on a steep slope at the top of the scarp. Interestingly though, last week Zetatijuana posted an article on the early stages of the landslide (in Spanish), which noted that:

[Atalía Ramos, a resident of the colony] added that those affected attributed the damage to the construction work of a new subdivision, Valle del Pedregal, a work of Grupo Melo, located at the bottom of the hillside where the colony is located and whose excavations have weakened the foundations of it.

They include this image of the new housing development:-


The new housing subdivision in Tijuana (image by Jorge Dueñes via Zetatijuana)


Meanwhile the landslide has caused an irreparable level of damage to the community:-


Landslide damage at Lomas del Rubi in Tijuana, via El Sol de Tijuana