Saturday 19 December 2015

Oregon woman killed in landslide.

A woman was killed in a landslide at Mercer Lake in Lane County on the Pacific Coast of Oregon on Friday 18 December 2015. 70-year-old Delores Miller was killed when her home was struck by several tonnes of soil, tree and other debris early in the morning after several days of heavy rain. 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. A dog was reportedly also killed in the incident, while a man and a second dog also living in the home survived. Three other homes on the same section of hillside have had to be evacuated.

The scene of the 18 December 2015 Mercer Lake landslide. KVAL.

The incident happened amid heavy rainfall that has caused flooding across parts of Washington and Oregon States for much of December.This rain and flooding may be linked to the El Niño weather system currently affecting the Pacific Ocean, a phenomenon that typically brings unseasonably warm weather to the northwest United States, starting around the beginning of December, although this year parts of the US have been suffering floods since the middle of October. The relationship between the two events is difficult to determine; more storms would be expected in the east Pacific late in the year during El Niño periods, but it is not possible to say that any particular storm was directly caused by the weather pattern.

 The approximate location of the 12 December 2015 Camas landslip. Google Maps.

See also... evacuated after landslip in Clark County, Washington State.                        Several homes have been evacuated following a landslip at Camas in Clark County, Washington, on Saturday 12 December 2015. Part of the hillside collapsed undermining homes upslope of the affected area, and causing direct damage by impacting at... evacuated after landslide on Mercer Island, Washington State.                         Several houses have been evacuated after a landslide on Mercer Island in Washington State on the evening of Tuesday 8 December 2015. One home has been... homes evacuated after landslide in Des Moines, Washington State.                      Three homes have been evacuated following a landslide close to the Salt Water State Park in Des Moines in King County, Washington State, on Friday 27 March 2015. The event started at about 8.30 am and...
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