16 November 2022
Mizoram: a deadly quarry rockslide caught on video
On 14 November 2022 a significant rockslide occurred at Maudarh in Hnahthial district, in Mizoram, India. Tragically, 12 workers were caught up in the landslide, alongside five excavators, a stone crusher and a drilling machine. To date 11 bodies have been recovered; it is highly unlikely that the other victim will be recovered alive.
The image below shows one of the first frames from the video of the landslide:-
The landslide appears to originate in residual soil high up on the slope above the quarry. As both images above show , the landslide debris involves mostly weathered rock, although the video itself shows some failure of the rock that was being quarried too, especially on the right hand side. So, a provisional interpretation might be that the quarry operations had not removed enough of the weathered material high up on the slope, which then failed due to the loss of toe support. The debris then triggered some failure of the rock being quarried in the lower part of the slope.
It is interesting that the weather was sunny and dry at the time of the failure.
In general investigations of landslides like this conclude that they were avoidable accidents. The quarry at Maudarh in Mizoram, which is being used to extract stone for the construction of a new national highway in the area, appears to be located at 22.915, 92.893. A quarry at that location is visible on satellite imagery.