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Thread: Deadly landslide in my part of the world

  1. #1
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    Deadly landslide in my part of the world

    A huge landslide/mudslide near Oso, WA about 20 miles north of my current hometown of Everett has killed at least 4 people. 18 are missing and a 6-month old baby is in critical condition. The Stillaguamish River is backing up behind the slide and there's a threat of flash flooding for the communities downstream.

    Here is a link to KING channel 5. I'd normally have looked to KOMO channel 4 but their coverage is a bit inhibited because their news helicopter crashed a few days ago, killing the pilot and a reporter. More bad news.

    This link should get you to the location in Google Earth. All of Steelhead Drive is basically gone. ETA: Ignore that!

    A former co-worker of mine is downstream off highway 530. I used to take my trebuchet to his mini-farm for testing. He's probably far enough from the river to be safe, but there could be access problems for him if the mud dam goes.

    Events like this really make me reflect how small humanity really is. The earth doesn't care about us, and can kill us without warning. And the Earth is a very small speck in the universe.

    ETA: Google Earth link doesn't work. Coordinates: 4816'44.22" N 12150'33.12" W
    Last edited by Trebuchet; 2014-Mar-24 at 12:24 AM.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet
    Events like this really make me reflect how small humanity really is. The earth doesn't care about us, and can kill us without warning. And the Earth is a very small speck in the universe.
    Human-centred view of the universe is still very common, though; we thought highly of MH 370 flight appearance, but the universe may not care a little about it.
    Hence the importance of human compassion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Events like this really make me reflect how small humanity really is. The earth doesn't care about us, and can kill us without warning. And the Earth is a very small speck in the universe.
    It's pretty scary.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #4
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    Keep safe Trebuchet and make sure you contact your former co-worker to see if he and his family are okay.
    The real art of conversation is not only saying the right thing at the right moment but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the most tempting moment. -- unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrissy View Post
    Keep safe Trebuchet and make sure you contact your former co-worker to see if he and his family are okay.
    We're fine, and my coworker is downstream and a couple miles from the river so he and his beloved horse should be fine. Unfortunately, the death toll is now officially up to fourteen and there may be as many as 100 people missing, based on reports from people not able to get in touch with them. Rescue workers have been pulled out of at least part of the area as there's another part of the mountain which may be thinking of coming down.

    Again, a reminder from the Earth that we are really quite inconsequential in the long run.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet
    We're fine, and my coworker is downstream and a couple miles from the river so he and his beloved horse should be fine. Unfortunately, the death toll is now officially up to fourteen and there may be as many as 100 people missing, based on reports from people not able to get in touch with them. Rescue workers have been pulled out of at least part of the area as there's another part of the mountain which may be thinking of coming down.

    Again, a reminder from the Earth that we are really quite inconsequential in the long run.
    Unfortunately, what most of us hold dear and precious are quite inconsequential as far as the universe is concerned (this is not very comforting indeed); we may cherish and preserve what we have as much as possible, though.

    The MH 370 is probably rather inconsequential to the Solar System, but it touches Homo sapiens fairly deeply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Again, a reminder from the Earth that we are really quite inconsequential in the long run.
    To Earth, yes. But the lesson I take from this (and rom all deaths) is that each life is precious and important, especially to the people closest to them.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Things are getting worse and worse. The list of people unaccounted for is now over 170! It includes a plumber and a satellite dish installer who were working on the street. And folks who were merely driving by.

    The death toll is likely to be higher than that from Mt. St. Helens, our state's best known geological disaster. The difference, of course, is that the eruption (though not its magnitude) were anticipated and the area largely evacuated in advance, while the slide was largely, but not entirely, unexpected.

    Rescuers are having to be careful with hazardous materials in the slide area, including septic tank contents, gasoline from cars, and propane tanks.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #9
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    The front page of the Seattle Times has an interesting (if somber) graphic where you can see a map of the slide area, then use the slider thingy on the right of the graphic to show a photo of the slide and the area devastation. http://seattletimes.com/html/home/index.html

    I can't imagine what it must be like for folks waiting for word about their loved ones still missing after the slide.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by redshifter View Post
    The front page of the Seattle Times has an interesting (if somber) graphic where you can see a map of the slide area, then use the slider thingy on the right of the graphic to show a photo of the slide and the area devastation. http://seattletimes.com/html/home/index.html
    Thanks for that. That's always a good way to visualize a tragedy like that.
    Every other picture I saw made me think that maybe some homes and stuff was in the way and the people were just those unfortunate few. But; from the pictures of the aftermath, you really don't notice that all that water that looks like part of the river was actually land.

  11. #11
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    I was looking at the area on Google Earth this morning. Steelhead drive is shown as a sort of squared-off hook. It appears, however, that the northern leg of the hook wasn't actually there in recent years, access top the eastern leg (E. Steelhead Drive) being via a new entrance from the main road. The reason for the northern leg being gone is, of course, a previous slide moving the river over into where the road used to be.

    It's taken a few days but many concerns are now being raised about the known instability of the hillside and the inadvisability of allowing homes to be built there.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    It's taken a few days but many concerns are now being raised about the known instability of the hillside and the inadvisability of allowing homes to be built there.
    I questioned some of those stories. At least in the tone they were given.
    They focus on "THE GOVERNMENT KNEW IT WAS A DANGER IN 1999".

    But; very little is discussed about the 2006 slide in relation to this. I can understand the residents being lulled into a false understanding that any further slides wouldn't pass much beyond the river.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    I questioned some of those stories. At least in the tone they were given.
    They focus on "THE GOVERNMENT KNEW IT WAS A DANGER IN 1999".
    "The Hazel Landslide has been active for over half a century...A firefighter stated, "When the slide hit the river, it was like a tsunami". A Washington state geologist said the slide was one of the largest landslides he'd seen. The mud, soil and rock debris left from the mudslide is 1,500 ft (460 m) long, 4,400 ft (1,300 m) wide and deposited debris 30 to 40 ft (9.1 to 12.2 m) deep."

    More http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Oso_mudslide


    Even 'dry' long run-out landslides (sturzstroms) can reach out farther than one might expect
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...13795201000904

    Mudslides are still the fastest for of "mass wasting." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudslide

    Huascaran is one of the worst offenders in terms of landslides

    More here:
    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...-a-Debris-Flow
    Last edited by publiusr; 2016-Oct-01 at 05:46 PM.

  14. #14
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    Publius,
    The Wiki article includes an excellent explanation of the geology, the remnant of an ancient lake bed, consisting of sand and gravel with little clay to cement it, 200feet above a main valley. It also records the previous history of the area, so notorious for landslides that it has its own name, the "Hazel Landslide".

    The loss of life is very sad, especially with that history. In the UK there have bene many examples of housing, built on flood plains, so that in a bad winter such as our last homes are flooded and life disrupted. Happily this time with no loss of life, but with demands that "someone do something about it!" when in fact living in such an area makes you hostage to calamity.

    Were the homes and towns affected by the Oso mudslip as unwisely built as our floodplain homes?
    John

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    Were the homes and towns affected by the Oso mudslip as unwisely built as our floodplain homes?
    John
    More of a neighborhood, really, but yes, that's apparently the case. There are geologists saying things to the effect of "I couldn't believe they were still issuing permits there after the 2006 slide."

    Then again, permits are still being issued for the lahar plain in Orting, WA. Pretty much any eruption of Mt. Rainier will resulted in the area being covered in steaming mud.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    Publius,
    In the UK there have bene many examples of housing, built on flood plains
    Then too, there is also a threat from colliery (spoil) tips
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberfan_disaster

    "The pupils of Pantglas Junior School had arrived only minutes earlier for the last day before the half-term holiday. They had just left the assembly hall, where they had been singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful", when a great noise was heard outside."

    You can imagine the rest.

    One should try to learn from disasters, but even those who make it out alive from the physical threat can still face an emotional hazard; and if not helped, become sullen-- mentally consigned as it were by Dante's marsh by the river Styx, still immersed in mud.

    And yet, one has every right to be wrathful in this instance.

    http://mashable.com/2014/03/26/washi...e-space-photo/
    Last edited by publiusr; 2014-Apr-06 at 08:43 PM.

  17. #17
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    Looks like we had a one two punch recently--overseas

    "When as many as 600 people from a nearby village came to help dig people out, another landslide swept through, burying most, if not all, of the rescuers...at least 2,000 people died in all."
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/04/world/...ide/index.html

    Another tragedy
    https://weather.com/news/news/china-...buried-missing
    Last edited by publiusr; 2017-Jun-24 at 10:18 PM.

  18. #18
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    And in the same circumstances. Heavy rain, leading to slumpng phenomenon.

    I think I heard on the radio that the area is subject to such events too, like the one in America.
    JOhn

  19. #19
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    Forgive the nnecro--but what I just saw here was stunning--at 4:53 you see the Indian ocean pushing through living rock that had been undermined:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sqfUKEGx9Q
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantai_Remis_landslide

    I would put this against any nuclear test for power.

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