26 June 2018

Waioeka Gorge: a new landslide video from New Zealand

Posted by Dave Petley

Waioeka Gorge: a new landslide video from New Zealand

On Sunday, a landslide occurred at Waioeka Gorge on State Highway 2, the main road between Gisborne and Rotorua in New Zealand.  The landslide was captured on video by a motorist, Michael Tabudravu, who stopped when he saw debris on the road ahead of the main event.  Stuff has a nice article about the event, in which they provide his description of the landslide:

About three other cars coming from the other direction had stopped to see what was going on, too. Some tried to manoeuvre around the debris and keep driving.  The cliff face where the rock had come from was clearly unstable, Tabudravu said on Monday. 

“I could see it started cracking underneath – this big crack…Then the whole thing just came down.” 

By then most other drivers had left, heading back the same way they came. But Tabudravu whipped out his phone in time to record the face collapse into a wave of rubble. 

“It’s not something you see every day…It was a bit of an adrenalin rush to be honest.”

This is video of the event:-


The landslide appears to be a wedge failure (note the very clear rock mass discontinuity that defines the detachment zone on the opposite wall), with the rock mass showing rapid disintegration to flow down the gully:-

Waioeka Gorge

The rockslide at Waioeka Gorge in New Zealand. Still from a Youtube video shot by Michael Tabudravu.


There is also an interesting video on Youtube, posted by CCTV, showing a building collapse in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China.  The report suggests that this landslide occurred in Weijiagou Village, resulting in the collapse of over 20 houses and the evacuation of nearly 380 people:-


The video includes other landslides triggered by the heavy rainfall, including one that killed six people.