Fatal landslides are triggered by monsoon rains in Sri Lanka on Wednesday, causing many casualties, leaving hundreds of missing and washing away homes and destroying a tea-growing region of the country.
A recently published study demonstrates that earthquakes instead of climate change as previously thought, have an effect on the rate of landslides in Peru. The particular findings were published in Nature Geoscience (Nature Publishing Group, 2014) by Devin McPhillips, a research associate in the Department of Earth Sciences of Syracuse University.
Switzerland and northern Italy are severely battered by heavy rain in the last days, which caused extensive landslides and cost several lives. Weather forecasts predict that rain will continue to hit the area for the next 24 - 36 hours, leading both countries to issue major flood alerts.
Millions of years ago, the sloping ground of southwest Utah was frequently covered with ash and debris, as a result of the intense volcanic activity taking place in the area. Those ash and debris layers were deposited on top of deeper deposits of hardened ash, which after eroding into slippery clay, set the ground for what now scientists believe was the world's largest landslide, covering an area nearly 39 times the size of Manhattan!
Following days of heavy rains, massive landslides in Indonesia caused many casualties and burried entire villages under mud and rubble. Many people are still reported as missing while more rain is expected in the next days, keeping local authorities and rescue crews under alert.
Days of torrential rain have flooded and triggered landslides in many regions of Epirus prefecture in Greece, which have been declared in a state of emergency. See the extent of destruction in the photogallery below!
Contrary to the common belief that landslides are violent, quickly evolving natural phenomena, triggered by heavy rain, earthquakes or volcanic activity, today's time lapse proves that landslides may move much slower. The time lapse presents the evolution of a landslide in Switzerland over a time span of 20 months as monitored by a Swiss consulting firm.
Extensive landslide phenomena are developing in the last few days in Amaliada Greece, threatening an entire village. The situation is significantly worsened by rainy weather and scientists monitoring the phenomenon are still unable to make any predictions about its completion.
A major slope stability failure occurred last week at Yeager airport's main runway, urging to the evacuation of homes located at the foot of the reinforced slope and relocation of their owners. The reinforced slope was by the time of its construction the largest reinforced slope in the United States.
Could the Oso landslide have been avoided? Are there more landslide prone areas across the country and how could state and federal agencies locate them and take precautions? Professors of the University of Washington D.R. Montgomery and J. Wartman, in their NY Times article "How to Make Landslides Less Deadly", are providing enlightening information with regards to the above questions and explain that despite recent technological advancements, little has been done towards their implementation in the development of detailed and reliable maps of landslide hazards nationwide.