Fellow geo-blogger David Petley of Durham University posted today about the 105th anniversary of the Frank Landslide in Canada. The slide had an estimated volume of 30 million cubic meters and took all of about 100 seconds to travel down the mountain and engulf a portion of a nearby coal mining town. 76 people were killed, and a number of bodies were never recovered because of the massive amount of material. Since 2003, they have installed real-time monitoring equipment to warn if the mountain fails again, which seems likely based on an interesting video (requires Windows Media Player). It shows some of the massive tension cracks at the top of the limestone mountain. (Photo by Natural Resources Canada by way of Dave’s Landslide Blog)
The Mt. Soledad Landslide in a La Jolla California neighborhood destroyed 3 houses and damaged others and it also shut down Mt. Soledad Road for an entire year after it occurred in October of 2007. Residents blamed the city of San Diego, and 65 homeowners filed suit, claiming that leaking pipes caused the landslide and the City should cover damages.
Last week, a superior court judge ruled in favor of the City of San Diego. So far I have not seen anything indicating if the residents plan to appeal the ruling.
One interesting note regarding the trial, the City released an 8-minute cell phone video taken by a geotechnical engineer or drilling contractor employed by the City that showed the road cracking and buckling just prior to failure. The homeowners used the video to try to make their own case. Click through for a portion of the video and a link to the full one.