26 June 2023
The 27 December 1898 Sasso Rosso landslide in Switzerland
In the aftermath of the Brienz-Brinzauls landslide in Switzerland, I have been looking at other notable events in that country. An open access paper (Condera et al. 2018) in an edited volume on Natural Hazards briefly describe the 27 December 1898 Sasso Rossa landslide in Switzerland near to the village of Airolo in Ticino. This was a 500,000 cubic metre landslide that killed three people as well as destroying a hotel and 11 houses. The human losses were reduced by a successful evacuation of the school and parts of the village ahead of the main failure.
Condera et al. (2018) included this image of the aftermath of the landslide, annotated to show the outlines of the scar and deposit:-
The site is located at [46.540, 8.605]. The landslide scar and deposit are very clearly visible on Google Earth imagery (I have tried to get a view close to that above):-
There are also some postcards showing the aftermath of the landslide, such as this one, which is on sale on the Hip Postcard site:-
As with Brienz-Brinzauls, the Sasso Rosso landslide came remarkably close to causing much higher levels of damage.
Conedera, M., Bozzini, C., Ryter, U., Bertschinger, T., and Krebs, P. 2018. Using the Monoplotting Technique for Documenting and Analyzing Natural Hazard Events. In: Antunes do Carmo, J.S. Natural Hazards. IntechOpen. Doi: 10.5772/intechopen.77321.