Recent Rockfall Stories in New Zealand, Colorado and Portugal

A car is crushed by a rockfall near Rotura, New Zealand

A car is crushed by a rockfall near Rotura, New ZealandThere were three fairly recent rockfall events with fatalities that made the news and caught my eye.

State Highway 36 in New Zealand is still closed after a major rockfall occurred in Rotura. The photo at left shows a car crushed by the rockfall but fortunately (amazingly) both of the the car’s occupants survived! Another car was swept off the road, but she survived as well. Shot to Dave’s Landslide Blog. (Photo by APN from Bay of Plenty Times)

Portugal rockfall that killed one touristNear Aspen, Colorado a suitcase-sized boulder crashed through an SUV windshield, killing Tom Murphy, a Sprint executive and father of three boys. His wife guided the SUV to a stop with one hand on the brakes and one on the steering wheel. Story at Denver Post.

Most recently, part of a cliff-face gave way at Maria Luisa beach in Albufeira on the Algarve coast and killed 5 people and injured 4 more. Story via AP with credit to Landslides Under a Microscope and Dave Schumaker (rockbandit or geologynews), one of my Tweeples.