There is a nice article on slow moving landslides at Nature.com. They discuss the use of InSAR technology and point out how a number of landslides in the news over the past several years have had at least some movement before a catastrophic event. To me, the interesting part is just how a topic of interest to geoprofessionals is covered by scientists who perhaps aren’t experts in these areas. They also mention some of the more infamous slow moving landslides that are currently being researched. It’s worth a quick scan.
A massive landslide in the little town of Nachterstedt in Eastern Germany early on Saturday morning local time caused two houses to vanish into a nearby lake. Three people are believed to have been in the buildings at the time of the slide. Rescue efforts are still on going and had to be halted during the night but were resumed the next morning. Helicopters with infrared cameras and dogs were used to find the missing people, but with no success so far. Approximately 60 residents of nearby buildings had to be evacuated and put up in emergency shelters. (Photo by Spiegel Online) [Editor] More after the break. [/Editor]
The Chilliwack Times reports that the City of Chilliwack will pay 80% of the assessed home value for up to 42 homes in an Eastern Hillside subdivision that are located on a slow moving landslide. The issue was first noticed in 2001 and several homes have had significant damage, but most are currently undamaged. The City denies any responsibility, but it’s legal counsel recommended a settlement. (Photo by Paul J. Henderson, Chilliwack Times)
Normally the geotechnical engineer for the subdivision would be held accountable. But apparently the slip surface is located 30-m below grade, much deeper than borings for a typical investigation for a subdivision. I wonder if there were any geologists consulted? Click through for a Google map view of the area and you can do your own armchair photogeology quarterbacking! Your heart does go out to the people losing their homes, they had no idea. But it could be worse, they could be in La Jolla and be getting squat.