A teenage girl strolling on the beach in Pacifica, California was buried alive by a landslide. She was buried up to her chest, and a passer-by dug her out with his bare hands while more soil and rock fell around them. Story at KTVU San Francisco. See a nice oblique aerial photo of the beach prior to the landslide here. Those slopes don’t look particularly stable to me but what do I know?
Folks in Oregon are angry about a recent landslide and debris flow that closed Highway 30 and destroyed property in the town of Woodson. (Here is a powerpoint presentation by Bill Burns of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries showing how the event happened). Some rather stinging allegations are being made that politicians withdrew a landslide hazard map from general use in 2002 for political reasons. That map or another one had characterized the area effected by the December 2007 debris flow as a "very high" or "extreme" risk of landslides. A very interesting article.
For those of you following the landslide in residential La Jolla California known as the Soledad Mountain Road landslide, it made the news again a couple days ago when a section of the slide re-activated and slid 10-ft down the hill. Doesn’t sound like too big of a deal to me, no additional houses damaged. I’m curious how it related to the shear pins they installed a couple of months ago.
Additionally, the San Diego City Attorney has released a report detailing the sequence of events leading up to the landslide. One interesting note is that the Mayor of San Diego is in hot water with the City Attorney’s office for hiring outside legal council to handle the legal aspects of the landslide. According to the City Attorney’s office, he wasn’t allowed to do that, but so far the City Attorney hasn’t stepped in to force the outside attorney(s) to drop the case saying it would open the City up to even more liability.
The Utah Geologic Survey has released a "Landslide Susceptibility Map of Utah". They apparently relied quite heavily on GIS based thresholding of existing slope angles but only after they had statistically analyzed failure angles for particular geologic units. So it sounds like they throw the known landslides, the geologic map of Utah and a DEM into the GIS a blend it all up. Perhaps a slight oversimplification!
A massive landslide triggered a 2 meter plus high wave at a lake in British Columbia. The resulting wave wiped out massive full grown cedar trees all along the lake and could have an environmental impact by damming up a stream that flows from the lake and also impacting fish populations. Apparently salmon migrate through this lake also. Video coverage after the break. (Photo by CBCNews.ca)
The people living on the eastern bank of the Traunsee (map on following page) in Austria are able to observe geology in motion these days. About one million tons of soil and rock are moving in a slow landslide toward the lake, throwing over trees (picture at left) and threatening to take parts of a village with them. Moreâ€¦
[Update 12/6/07] San Diego City Council approved $20 Million for the repair of Soledad Mountain Road despite concerns by some about whether funds diverted to pay for the fix will ever be repaid by Federal and State monies. Additionally, shear pin installation mentioned on the next page is scheduled to be completed by Saturday. [/Update]
A lot has happened since my last post on the Soledad Mountain Road landslide in La Jolla. Iâ€™ll try to get you caught up on the latest with remediation and legal issues. Click through for the summary.
Residents of approximately 75 of the 111 homes evacuated after the slide have been allowed back into their homes. The City of San Diego is not wasting any time in determining the cause of the slide. The first of three 100-ft deep exploration shafts was excavated on Friday, and a Forensic Geologist from a firm hired by the City was sent down the hole to observe geology conditions and to locate the actual slip surface. Also, claims of leaking City water and/or sewer pipes prior to the failure have begun to surface. More details in the full post. (Photo by NELVIN CEPEDA / San Diego Union-Tribune)
A landslide occured about 9am PT yesterday in a residential neighborhood of La Jolla, just north of San Diego. No injuries have been reported, but estimates are that 2,500 people are without either power or gas because of toppled power lines and ruptured gas lines. The Soledad Mountain Road is currently impassable. I’ll update this post as more information becomes available. In the mean time, check out some video and a location map after the break.