5 September 2022
The Clementi landslide in Singapore
In the many years that I have been compiling this blog I have rarely had the opportunity to write about landslides in Singapore. Thus, the Clementi landslide, which occurred on 2 September 2022 at the Clementi NorthArc construction site, is a notable event. Clementi NorthArc is a major housing construction project, with almost 1,200 apartments being provided.
The best image of the aftermath of the landslide that I have found is this one, from Channel News Asia:-
As the image shows, the landslide blocked the Ulu Pandan Canal. A channel has now been opened up to prevent flooding.
Reports indicate that the collapse involved an under-construction retaining wall, which is captured in some of the images:-
Unfortunately I have not been able to track down any aerial or drone footage of the landslide site, so it is a little difficult to interpret the failure. The toe of the slope has displaced a large distance horizontally, whilst the retaining wall has clearly subsided and may have undergone some rotation. Fortunately, it appears that the failure has not jeopardised the stability of the main apartment blocks in the development.
The Clementi landslide is reported to have occurred at 1 am local time, which means that works were probably not underway at the time of failure. One person is reported to have received comparatively minor injuries.
Construction works at the site have now been suspended whilst an investigation is being conducted into the cause of the landslide. It will be interesting to see whether this was a consequence of unanticipated ground conditions (bearing in mind Singapore is a tropical environment with high levels of weathering and rainfall); inappropriate design; inadequate construction; or some other unanticipated factor. It will also be interesting to see whether any signs of impending failure were observed.