Twenty two families have been evacuated from their homes after a landslide in Balduina, a residential district of Rome, which engulfed seven cars and may have undermined properties on the opposite side of the road, at about 6.00 pm local time on Wednesday 14 February 2018. The event occurred at a construction site, where work began on a new apartment block in October and a deep pit had been dug to facilitate an underground car park, and was triggered when the shoring on one side of the pit collapsed.
The scene of a landslip in the Balduina District of Rome that engulphed seven cars and led to nearby properties being evacuated. Giuseppe Lami/ANSA/AP.
The event happened after a day of heavy rain in the city. 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. However this in itself should not have been enough to cause the shoring to collapse, and the event has been linked to a water leak in the area between 25 and 28 January, which may have left sediments beneath the road weakened before this week's event.
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