Swiss officials announced over the weekend that they would halt search operations for 8 missing hikers after a massive landslide near the small village of Bondo, Switzerland. Geologists toured the source area by helicopter and determined it was unsafe to continue the search. The event is referred to as a rock avalanche by the Landslide Blog, and Professor Petley had two links to videos of the event. The first, showing the initiation of the landslide is shown below. The landslide occurred on Piz Cengalo above Bondo on August 25 and resulted in a debris flow 5 km downstream at the town.
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.
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.