29 June 2020
Vitalj, Bosnia and Herzegovina: a damaging landslide on 23 June 2020
Guest post by Damir Hatunić
In the early hours of 23 June 2020 a landslide occurred at Vitalj in Kladanj, northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. This landslide interrupted traffic on the main road, the M-18, between Sarajevo and Tuzla. The location of the landslide is 44.242, 18.706.
This was one of a dozen landslides triggered in the area after three days of rainfall combined with favourable antecedent soil moisture conditions developed since the last week of May according to The Federal Institute for Hydrometeorology in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The dimensions of the landslide are 70 metres in length and 20 to 30 metres in width, with the thickness of the initiating material estimated at between 1 and 2 metres.
The landslide took a place on a eastward slope, which has 16° of average inclination and is artificially modified with cut and fill, where the regolith layer has formed on Jurassic claystones. It is notable that the slope was completely deforested 20 years ago, but the forest has subsequently undergone regrowth. Such conditions are very common in the area of northeastern Bosnia, which is a largely landslide-susceptible region.
The mechanism of movement here is predominantly translational and this slide can be classified as an earth-slide with transformation into a mudslide at the toe zone. The movement velocity during main phase, according to eyewitnesses, was in decimeters per second. Shortly after the landslide initiated, the responsible authorities responded with heavy equipment, so that part of the landslide was cleared from the road by the end of the day (according to Klix.ba).
This video provides more detail about the landslide:
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