Tuesday, 5 August 2014

House destroyed by landslide in Salt Lake City.

A luxury house has been destroyed by a landslide and several neighbouring properties have had to be evacuated following a landslide on a housing development north of Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday 5 August 2014. The event occurred following heavy overnight rain associated with thunderstorms sweeping the area. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall. Nobody was hurt in the incident, and the residents of the home, described as a Peruvian family of 10, including young children and grandparents in their 70s, are staying with friends.

The remains of a house destroyed by a landslide in Salt Lake on 5 August 2014. Salt Lake Tribune.

The event involved the collapse of a large area of hill on from a steep slope behind the house, and appears to be a  rotational landslide, which can cause poorly consolidated soils to be moved by the weight of sediments on hillslopes some distance away. Such landslides often lead to considerable horizontal movement.

Movement on a rotational landslide, allowing damage to occur distant from a slope. ONE Geology.

The area has apparently suffered similar previous events, with 17 houses destroyed in the area since the 1990s. Houses in the area affected by the 5 August landslip reportedly began to suffer cracks earlier this summer, leading to geotechnical engineers employed by the city to warn residents to be ready for further events.

The full extent of the  landslide in Salt Lake on 5 August 2014. Salt Lake Tribune.

See also...


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