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530 mudslide

2014-03-24 02:28:03.560977+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Jack mentioned A closer look at aerial image of Highway 530 mudslide. As in "holy shit, the side just slid off a mountain and wiped several houses and people off the map" up there in Washington...

[ related topics: Maps and Mapping Real Estate ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2014-03-24 18:00:35.825761+00 by: Jack William Bell [edit history]

Death count is up to 8. Missing count is up to 108! But authorities expect that to go down as it includes a lot of people reported missing by friends/family who may not have been in the area.

This disaster happened only 15 miles from my home near Darrington, so it has obsessed me for the last couple of days. I know people directly affected and may even have met some of the dead and missing. I myself am affected; with no phone service (not even cell) and my main route to Seattle cut off. (There is only one secondary route right now, taking me an extra hour by going around to the north.)

This was an awesome event in the original meaning of the word: to instill 'awe'. A perfect example of how punctuated equilibrium works in geology, where an unstable area can remain static for tens of thousands of years and then completely change in only a few seconds. This is how our landscape is created; events like this happening over and over in geologic time.

So sad that people happened to be living near when it happened. They *literally* had a mountain fall on them.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-03-24 20:57:41.684007+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, back in 1998 we had the big floods here in Northern California, and houses slid off hillsides (as they do in particularly wet years). When Charlene and I were looking to buy, various aspects of geologic risk were on our shopping list. I will, occasionally, drive through spectacular places, look at the houses around, and thing "oh, hell no!", but then I really don't have a good solid feel for risk assessment and those locations: As you say, these things happen in geologic time, not human time.

The size of that slide is astounding. I know such things happen (heck, I just tried to find one particular Northern California mudslide that has been much attributed to Pacific Lumber clearcutting and got a half a million search results for a fairly specific query), but that slumped area is the size of a small city.

Glad you and your home are okay, sympathies to the families and friends of the 8, and hope that that's where the casualty list stops.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-03-24 21:58:30.894391+00 by: Dan Lyke

RT Shawn S. ‏@DodgerWA

Most powerful #pic I've seen yet O_O - RT @sred2: “@wsdot: There are no words. #530slide pic.twitter.com/3ZVkBqrM6B” :-(