22 October 2019
Kadavu, Fiji: Planet Labs images of the earthquake triggered landslides on 19 October
On 19 October 2019 a M=5.7 earthquake struck the island of Kadavu in Fiji. Whilst not a large event, it was sufficient to give the volcano of Nabukelevu (also known as Mount Washington) a decent shake, triggering rockslides. These landslides were captured on a very high-quality video taken from the sea, which shows multiple events. The dry volcanic rocks generate a large amount of dust, which accentuates the effects. The video is on Youtube:-
On Twitter, Sotiris Valkoniotis (@SotisValkan) noted that these landslides are visible on Sentinel imagery captured later the same day. So, I have taken a look at the Planet Labs imagery of the area. Planet Labs captured a decent image of the site on 20 October 2019, which shows the scars of the landslides:
By comparison, this is the same site imaged on 23 September (with less cloud):
In the aftermath of the earthquake, the Fiji National Disaster Management Office has issued a warning to remain clear of the landslide sites and to avoid diving in the vicinity of the Nabukelevu volcano:
In the short-term, the Mineral Resources Department will be undertaking assessments of the landslides triggered on the mountain in the aftermath of the earthquake.
This is not the first time that Kadavu has suffered landslides – for example, in May 2018 the Fiji Roads Authority published some images of a small landslide that affected a road on the flanks of the volcano.
Planet Team (2019). Planet Application Program Interface: In Space for Life on Earth. San Francisco, CA. https://www.planet.com/