16 March 2022
Retamas: a fatal landslide caught on video in Peru
On 15 March 2022 a large landslide occurred in the town of Retamas in La Libertad region of Peru. This landslide was captured on at least two horrifying videos. The first was captured from the other side of the valley, showing the main part of the failure engulfing a series of houses built below the main slope that failed. This video was tweeted by @EQuake_Analysis:
A second video was tweeted by @ysuradiocadena, taken from the same side of the valley. Again, the impact of landslide on the houses below is horrifying:-
#UltimoMinuto #EnDesarrollo Mas de 70 viviendas sepultadas tras deslizamiento de tierra en zonas de Retamas, Parcoy, #Perú. Se estiman 80 personas desaparecidas. (15.03.2022). #NoticiasYSU pic.twitter.com/x8YjiwGZ54
— YSUradiocadena (@ysuradiocadena) March 15, 2022
The aftermath of the landslide is captured in this Reuters image:-
The landslide has come after a period of heavy rainfall, although the conditions at the time of the landslide appear to have been dry. Reports indicate that 60 to 80 homes were buried (this looks surprisingly high to me). Apparently 15 people were initially trapped in the landslide, although many have been rescued. There are some indications that six people remain missing, including three children, although this will become more clear in the next day or so.
The precise location of this landslide is not yet clear to me- I suspect that is is -8.0233, -77..4760, but this is unconfirmed. This is a Google Earth image of Retamas, collected in August 2020:-
The stand out feature of this image is that this is an area that is dreadfully impacted by landslides. This is an area that is heavily affected by mining, including one of the largest gold mines in Peru. There is also a large amount of informal mining, which might explain the environmental damage seen in the images. These informal mines are reported to employ up to 5,000 miners.