SOTT Earth Changes Summary – February 2017: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

SOTT ‘Earth Changes’ video summary for February 2017: extreme weather events, environmental indicators of ‘planetary upheaval’ (seismic, volcanic, etc) and Near-Earth Objects in the form of meteor fireballs.

Februrary 2017 continued on as January started. Massive flooding in California due to “atmospheric rivers” dumping large amounts of rain on coastal areas and snow on the Sierra Nevada. The snow melt from this caused further flooding in Nevada. Eastern Canada also experienced record snowfall, as did Iran, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Japan.

Wildfires broke out in Eastern Australia and New Zealand while record rainfall inundated Western Australia. Major flooding also hit several South American nations including Chile, Peru and Colombia.

There are at least 30 active volcanoes around the world right now, including a really impressive one in Guatemala. Massive earth cracks opened in Pakistan and Italy.

These are just some of the chaotic events we present in this month’s Sott ‘Earth Changes’ video compilation.

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Music used: ‘Escape from the Temple’ by Per Kiilstofte:…

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International:…

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TBW News 3rd week Oct…Super storms across the Pacific!

Music-“Mozart – Laudate Dominum””

TBW News
Clips used with kind thanks…..
Officials- Hurricane Patricia ‘strongest hurricane…
Hurricane Patricia ‘extremely dangerous’- Scientist
Five dead after southern Europe rains
Rincon de la Vieja mud volcano in costa rica
Footage Horrific Wild Dust Storm in Phoenix
Global shake movie http://global.shakemovie.princeton.ed…

Category V Hurricane Patricia…
Koppu hits The Philippines…
West coast marine life disaster has spread to the Gulf…
Red tide is now killing tons of fish from Mexico to west coast of Florida…
Small Swedish town loses 1,000 child refugees…
Deadly floods still sweeping southern Europe…
The latest tragedy along the west coast…
Activity at Costa Rica’s Rincon de la Vieja Volcano…
First glimps of devastation to come this winter from El-Nino…
Scientists warning and prepairing for Mega-quake…
dust storm rolls over US city of Phoenix…
40 TONS of dead fish washed up dead on the coast of Tamaulipas…
Hawaii with a homelessness problem…
Prelude to “The Big One?”…
Massive mag 7.1 hits Port-Olry, Vanuatu…
Fire near large deposit of nuclear waste.…
Unusual fish are appearing near Alaska’s shores…

SOTT Earth Changes Summary – September 2015: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

It’s also very important at this time, to stay well grounded to the Earth Mother. Make it part of your daily routine send out feelings of love, gratitude, praise, calmness, peace, serenity and conscious evolution to the planetary collective of nature spirits, elementals, ancestral spirits and human souls.
We are the ONES Gaia has been waiting for, let’s get busy holding sacred space for Earth changes to manifest as safely as possible for all living BEings.
All my love, blessings and aloha! Annette
Comment: Please note that due to planetary/climate chaos increasing month by month, we can only show a limited selection of global events. Considering that these ‘localized’ events, multiplied many times over, are occurring simultaneously all over the planet, the scale of destruction and impact on people’s lives becomes almost unimaginable.



No matter the season or ‘normal’ climate, these days vehicles, homes and people are being washed away in deluges – the world over – on a regular basis. Forget “one month’s average rainfall falling within hours” – last month, TWO MONTHS’ average rainfall fell within a day and turned parts of southern Japan into inland seas. In the US, Utah experienced its worst ever flash-flooding, and the entire Eastern Seaboard was soaked with up to a foot of rain. This month, we also have clips of deluges in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Norway, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Sierra Leone, and New Zealand.

Violent volcanic eruptions in Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Indonesia foreshadowed a massive 8.3 magnitude earthquake off Chile, which sent a 4.5 meter tsunami crashing into the coast and causing widespread damage. Hailstones the size of footballs fell in Naples, Italy. Brisbane, Australia, was buried in up to 4 inches (8cm) of hail, while a gigantic hole opened up on a nearby beach and swallowed a campsite. The rate of meteor fireball sightings continues to increase; in September there were spectacular sightings over Bangkok and Los Angeles.



Wildfires continue burning up much of California, which last month saw its ‘third-largest’ wildfire in history as whole towns were consumed and tens of thousands of residents were forced to flee. The other major outbreak of wildfires on the planet in September occurred in Indonesia, from where a smoky haze enveloped much of southeast Asia for the second time in three years. ‘Slash-and-burn’ farming is being blamed, but the fires occur in peatlands that release lots of methane, leaving us wondering if the primary fuel source for these fires is coming up from below.

Extreme weather also hit the Middle East, which was engulfed in an ‘unprecedented’ sandstorm that stretched from Iraq to Cyprus and south to Saudi Arabia. A tragic and incredibly symbolic event occurred in the heart of Islam’s ‘holy city’ on the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, when a powerful and unusual thunderstorm descended on Mecca and winds blew a large construction crane belonging to Bin Laden Construction onto the Grand Mosque. 111 people were killed and hundreds more injured.

These were the signs of the times in September 2015…

Music used: ‘Escape from the Temple‘ by Per Kiilstofte. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

To understand what’s going on, check out our book explaining how all these events are part of a natural climate shift, and why it’s taking place now: Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.

Check out previous installments in this series – now translated into multiple languages – and more videos from SOTT Media here, here, or here.

You can help us chronicle the Signs of the Times by sending video suggestions to

Signs of Change, June 2014

Widespread disaster continue all around the globe as our climate unleashes relentless extremes breaking records and destroying homes and lives..
Freak, rare and extreme weather events has taken place the past month or so….

Thanks for watching and stay safe..

So much more has happen then this video shows because a lot has gone unreported. Please visit my facebook page for much more..…

A thanks to all my sources around the world that share with me daily 🙂

Signs Of Change The Past Week…Or So ~ July 2013 Part 2

This is the first I’ve seen of underground fires erupting, which could mean that as the Earth continues to expand there are areas where rising magma is getting very close to the surface. It’s kind of hard to tell, but it looks like you can see the magma through one of the openings in the ground.  How will these fires interact with rising methane and hydrogen sulfide gases, and are the two related? Should be the next logical question…


Signs Of Change The Past Week Or So Until Jan. 15th, 2013

Published on Jan 15, 2013

Extreme weather events carry on here in 2013. Earthquakes, flooding strange noise phenomenon, record highs and lows and much more has taking place the past week or so. For more on these events go to or subscribe to my channel. Thanks for watching here and be safe!

Music Used
Track 1
The Secession — Ash

Track 2
Hit The House — Radium

Good Sources For Strange Booms
The Juniper Chronicles

And EnigmaSeeker2012’s channel

Check Out More Chnnels On My Page For Other Great Sources
Or The Weird Weather Group On FB­er/

Playlist For More Of These Videos…

Climate Change Update (18 June 2012) Godzilla Cabbages and Radioactive Typhoon

Published on Jun 18, 2012 by

In Hijimachi Oita Kyushu, 80 cabbages grew 4 times bigger than usual. It’s 36cm wide, 18cm high, and 1.1m long around, weighs 4kg at average.…

High Alert: “Very strong” typhoon forecast for Tohoku (Fukushima area) Wednesday — Direct hit in June “very unusual”

Policeman Politely Pointed a Protester in the Right Direction in June 15 Protest in Tokyo

Mysterious flood in river cuts off 13 villages

Hurricane Carlotta dumps torrential rains and kills 3 in Mexico

Philippines steps up search for flood survivors

18 December 2011

Tens of thousands on the north coast of Mindanao are now reliant on food aid

Rescuers are still searching for survivors after floods in the southern Philippines killed more than 650 people and left 800 others missing.

Naval vessels are scouring the coast along the island of Mindanao while soldiers searched swollen rivers.

Officials said many bodies remained unclaimed, suggesting entire families had been swept away.

The flash floods were triggered by a tropical storm that coincided with high tides, trapping many in their homes.

The major ports of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were among the areas worst hit on Friday night.

Almost 35,000 people were still sheltering in evacuation centres on Sunday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

The Philippine National Red Cross puts the current death toll at 652 with 808 people reported missing.

Many of the bodies were unclaimed after nearly 24 hours, raising the prospect that entire families had died, Philippines Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said.

“The affected area is so wide and huge and I believe they have not really gone to all areas to do a search,” she said.

Power cuts

“This thing happened so fast, it was very overwhelming.”

The navy joined the search for those who had been swept out to sea. About 60 people were reported to have been plucked from the ocean off El Salvador city, about six miles (10km) north-west of Cagayan de Oro.

Former congressman Ayi Hernandez said he and his family were at home in Cagayan de Oro late on Friday when they heard a loud “swooshing sound”.

He said the water rose to about 11ft feet (3.3m) in less than an hour, filling his home to the ceiling.

Map of Philippines

The rescue effort, boosted by some 20,000 soldiers, continued through Saturday night but was being hampered by flooded-out roads and downed power lines, officials said.

National TV showed scenes of devastation, with streets strewn with mud and piles of debris. The remains of houses lay alongside cars that had been picked up by the water and left in culverts and along riverbanks.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent condolences to the Philippines.

“The US government stands ready to assist Philippine authorities as they respond to this tragedy,” she said.

Weather experts said Tropical Storm Washi dumped more than a month of average rain in just 12 hours over Mindanao.

The BBC’s Kate McGeown in Manila said the storm took everyone by surprise.

Although the Philippines is hit by typhoons or tropical storms every year, Mindanao in the south is usually spared the worst of the damage, she adds.

Washi reached the western island of Palawan before dawn on Sunday and is moving west into the South China Sea, government forecasters said.

The storm has maximum winds of 80km/h (50mph) and is expected to move west, away from the Philippines.

Are you in the Philippines? Have you been affected? You can share your experiences by filling in the form below.

Send your pictures and videos to or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (International). If you have a large file you can upload here.

Billion-dollar weather disasters smash US record

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration added two disasters to the list Wednesday, bringing the total to 12. The two are wildfires in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and the mid-June tornadoes and severe weather. – Reuters Photo

WASHINGTON: America smashed the record for billion-dollar weather disasters this year with a deadly dozen, and counting.

With an almost biblical onslaught of twisters, floods, snow, drought, heat and wildfire, the U.S. in 2011 has seen more weather catastrophes that caused at least $1 billion in damage than it did in all of the 1980s, even after the dollar figures from back then are adjusted for inflation.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration added two disasters to the list Wednesday, bringing the total to 12. The two are wildfires in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and the mid-June tornadoes and severe weather.

NOAA uses $1 billion as a benchmark for the worst weather disasters.

Extreme weather in America this year has killed more than 1,000 people, according to National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes. The dozen billion-dollar disasters alone add up to $52 billion.

The old record for $1 billion disasters was nine, in 2008.

Hayes, a meteorologist since 1970, said he has never seen a year for extreme weather like this, calling it “the deadly, destructive and relentless 2011.”

This year’s total may not stop at 12. Officials are still adding up the damage from the Tropical Storm Lee and the pre-Halloween Northeast snowstorm, and so far each is at $750 million. And there’s still nearly a month left in the year.

Scientists blame an unlucky combination of global warming and freak chance. They say even with the long-predicted increase in weather extremes triggered by manmade climate change, 2011 in the US was wilder than they had predicted. For example, the six large outbreaks of tornadoes cannot be attributed to global warming, scientists say.

“The degree of devastation is extreme in and of itself, and it would be tempting to say it’s a sign of things to come, though we would be hard-pressed to see such a convergence of circumstances occurring in one single year again for a while,” said Jerry Meehl, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Another factor in the rising number of billion-dollar calamities: “More people and more stuff in harm’s way,” such as in coastal areas, said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco.

“What we’re seeing this year is not just an anomalous year, but a harbinger of things to come,” with heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather, Lubchenco said Wednesday at an American Geophysical Union science conference in San Francisco.

The number of weather catastrophes that pass the billion-dollar mark when adjusted into constant dollars is increasing with each decade. In the 1980s, the country averaged slightly more than one a year. In the 1990s, it was 3.8 a year. It jumped to 4.6 in the first decade of this century. And in the past two years, it has averaged 7.5.

Other years had higher overall damage figures because of one gargantuan disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and a 1988 drought.

But this is not just about numbers.

“Each of these events is a huge disaster for victims who experience them,” Lubchenco said in an email. “They are an unprecedented challenge for the nation.”

Half the billion-dollar disasters were tornado outbreaks in one of the deadliest years on record. More than 540 people were killed in those six tragedies. In four days in April, there were 343 tornadoes in the largest outbreak on record, including 199 in one day, which is another record.

Texas had more than a million acres burned by wildfire, a record for the state, and Oklahoma set a record for the hottest month ever in the United States. The Ohio River Valley had triple the normal rainfall, which caused major flooding along the Mississippi River.

“Too little water in the South, too much water in the North,” said Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in Canada. “It’s a story we are hearing more and more often.”

That’s why the world has to do two things, said Princeton University geological sciences professor Michael Oppenheimer: try to slow global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and prepare better for extreme weather.

Kamchatka’s Shiveluch volcano shaken in violent eruption

October 17, 2011KAMCHATKA – Reports speak of a violent volcanic eruption of Mount Shiveluch on Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. Smoke and ash from the volcano have climbed to 10 kilometres, sparking no-fly warnings for the surrounding area. Snow around the crater is rapidly melting, creating mudslides. Shiveluch supports a caldera of 1.5 kilometres in diameter. Its current activity period started in 1980. –English Ru

Experts warn epic weather ravaging US could worsen

Mira Oberman
Agence France-Presse
Wed, 29 Jun 2011 20:06 CDT
extreme us weather

© AFP/Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian
Smoke rises around the Lee Valley Recreational area in the Apache National Forest during back burn operations as the Wallow Fire continues to burn in Big Lake, Arizona on June 12. Epic floods, massive wildfires, drought and the deadliest tornado season in 60 years are ravaging the United States, with scientists warning that climate change will bring even more extreme weather.
Epic floods, massive wildfires, drought and the deadliest tornado season in 60 years are ravaging the United States, with scientists warning that climate change will bring even more extreme weather.

The human and economic toll over just the past few months has been staggering: hundreds of people have died, and thousands of homes and millions of acres have been lost at a cost estimated at more than $20 billion.

And the United States has not even entered peak hurricane season.

“This spring was one of the most extreme springs that we’ve seen in the last century since we’ve had good records,” said Deke Arndt, chief of climate monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

While it’s not possible to tie a specific weather event or pattern to climate change, Arndt said this spring’s extreme weather is in line with what is forecast for the future.

“In general, but not everywhere, it is expected that the wetter places will get wetter and the drier places will tend to see more prolonged dry periods,” he told AFP.

“We are seeing an increase in the amount (of rain and snow) that comes at once, and the ramifications are that it’s a lot more water to deal with at a time, so you see things like flooding.”

More than 6.8 million acres in the central United States have been swamped after record spring rainfall overwhelmed rivers already swollen from the melting of a heavy winter snow pack.

Some levees burst under the pressure as the mighty Mississippi River swelled to more than three miles (nearly five kilometers) in width. Others were intentionally breached in order to ease pressure and protect cities downstream.

The latest flooding along the Missouri River has forced mass evacuations and threatened to inundate two nuclear power plants in Nebraska.

Meanwhile, the southern United States is dealing with one of the most extreme droughts since the dust bowl of the 1930s, and the dry conditions have led to massive and uncontrollable wildfires.

More than 4.7 million acres have been burned in some 32,000 separate fires so far this year, which is more than twice the annual average over the past decade, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Texas, Arizona and New Mexico have lost the most land, and one fire even spread to the grounds of the top US nuclear research lab on Monday.

As with the plants in Nebraska, officials said the nuclear material stored inside is safe and that no contaminants have been released.

While most people have been able to escape the slow-moving floodwaters and wildfires unharmed, the spring’s violent storms have unleashed scenes of apocalyptic destruction.

Tornadoes have killed 542 people so far this year, making 2011 the deadliest tornado season since 1936 and the fourth worst on record, according to the National Weather Service.

Two bad days accounted for nearly all the deaths: an outbreak of dozens of tornadoes that killed 314 people in five southern states on April 27, and a nearly mile-wide twister that cut a six-mile (nearly 10 kilometer) swath of destruction through Joplin, Missouri on May 22, killing 146 people.

Climate change could bring less tornadoes, because while a warmer atmosphere will absorb more precipitation, causing more storms, it could also reduce the wind shear that builds storm intensity when cold and warm fronts collide.

However, the intensity of future droughts, heat waves, storms and floods is expected to rise drastically if greenhouse gas emissions don’t stabilize soon, said Michael Mann, a scientist at Penn State University.

“Even a couple degree warming can make a 100-year event a three-year event,” Mann, the head of the university’s earth systems science center, told AFP.

“It has to do with the tail of the bell curve. When you move the bell curve, that area changes dramatically.”

More extreme weather is expected in the coming months, said Jon Gottschalck, head of forecast operations at NOAA’s climate prediction center.

“We’re expecting warmer than normal conditions to continue across much of the south. The drought is probably going to continue in many areas,” he said.

“We also expect wetter than normal conditions to continue for the next season or two in the northern Rockies…and an active hurricane season.”

Nearly one million hit by disasters in Thailand

The Nation/Asia News Network
Sat, Apr 02, 2011

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department yesterday said that since March 23, the inundation had affected 998,867 people in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Surat Thani, Trang, Chumphon, Songkhla, Krabi and Phang Nga.

Nakhon Si Thammarat

Nakhon Si Thammarat Governor Thira Mintarasak yesterday said 42 flood victims including one pregnant woman were already airlifted from a risky zone in Noppitham district.

“Floods have marooned their hometowns,” he said.

Because floodwater made so many roads in the district impassable, relevant officials had to rely on helicopters and other types of aircraft in delivering relief items to affected people.

In Sichon district, more than 400 people were evacuated in the face of growing landslide risks.

Surat Thani

Floodwater was up to four metres deep in some areas of the Phunphin district yesterday.

Locals could do nothing but climb up to the roofs of their houses to avoid being submerged or swept away.

Many portions of Highway 41 in the province were also heavily flooded. No vehicles could brave past those portions, forcing many motorists to stay overnight at petrol stations along the way.

In the wake of serious flooding, train services in the province were also paralysed. Many victims have had to live without electricity for days now.


Natural disasters here have forced the evacuations of about 3,800 people.

The Khao Phanom District Hospital said landslides killed at least six people and injured 17 others. After the flood hit, the hospital also found a young boy who died by drowning.

Continues here:

Californian frequent landslides sign of major geological change?

By– April 3, 2011
A major artery through southern Humboldt County was shut down on March 30 following a massive slide of mud and rocks, the California Highway Patrol said. Officials estimated that the stretch...

A major artery through southern Humboldt County was shut down on March 30 following a massive slide of mud and rocks, the California Highway Patrol said. Officials estimated that the stretch of Highway 101 could be closed for up to two weeks. Tons of debris tumbled and slid onto the highway about 5 miles north of Garberville  causing the road to buckle under the weight. California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Julie East estimated the slide was about 183 meters wide and about 460 meters up the side of the slope.

San Francisco Bay area cities, Hercules and San Pablo, also declared states of emergency this week as mudslides threatened homes in those communities.

To the south, crews worked throughout the day trying to clear an 2.5 meters high pile of mud, trees and debris that blocked a remote neighborhood in the Uvas Canyon area of Santa Clara County. About 15 people were cut off by the slide, according to Michael Murdter, director of the county’s Office of Public Communication Roads and Airports Department. (SFExaminer)

When it comes to keeping U.S. Highway 101 open, Humboldt State University geology professor Lori Dengler said the county has millions of years working against it.

”It all has to do with geology and the fact that we’re living on top of 100 million years of subduction, this process that slowly scrapes off sediment and slaps it along the coast and creates this melange — this pudding of rock,” Dengler said, adding that the rock pudding — when saturated with rainfall — is highly susceptible to the forces of gravity. “That’s the problem, and that’s always the problem.”

National Weather Service meteorologist Nancy Dean said this has been the third wettest March on record, noting that the Eel River Camp near the slide measured in at 16.47 inches of rain.

At the end of a soggy March, mudslides and erosion are cutting off homes and crumbling creek beds, stranding homeowners in Morgan Hill and forcing others to evacuate along Stevens Creek in Mountain View. At least three homes are at risk of sliding into the Peninsula creek after rains swallowed up entire backyards in a mobile home community. Residents, meanwhile, in the far south of the county near Uvas Canyon are waiting it out as crews try to dig out an 2.5 meteers high pile of mud and debris that buried Croy Road in one of the largest slides since 1998, when El Niño storms pounded California.

Meanwhile, a small mudslide prompted emergency crews to respond Monday night to a private road off Old Almaden Road next to southern San Jose. In Morgan Hill on Wednesday, work crews continued to chip away at the massive pile of trees, mud and debris blocking both lanes of Croy Road, the only access for a handful of residents who live in the rural area. Officials said 15 people were cut off from the outside world, but one resident pegged the number near 50. The biggest hurdle work crews face is that debris continues to fall as they haul away downed redwood trees, mud and rocks. (MercuryNews)

Butte County has declared a local emergency after saturated soil caused the ground to literally slide out from under two of the county’s roads. Oro Quincy Highway and Bardees Bar Road have been closed since March 29 when public works crews discovered sections of the road had developed cracks and started to drop.

Once the declaration is approved by state and federal officials the county will be eligible to receive funding for the repairs which could total more than half a million dollars. Nobody has been stranded by the closure of the roads. (KRCRTV)

About 33 homes in unincorporated Santa Cruz, near Scotts Valley, are affected by a landslide of shale and mud. With no road access, residents in the neighborhood cleared a footpath through the brush to be able to go back and forth through the area. The 61 meters wide landslide of shale and mud began around 10 a.m. on March 21st with rocks falling for hours, according to several residents, then, a major slide happened around 2 p.m., completely closing the road.

Geologists and the county public works department are monitoring the area and a plan to clear the road will soon be released. (Scott’sValleyPatch)

Reports are coming in that California has been flash flooding in areas around Capitola, and landslides in San Fransisco, and areas in San Pablo had flash floods as well. It is typical that flooding and large amounts of rain at this time of year. For a Sate, it has its problem with heat, fires, floods, and earthquakes, it seems the State has been dealt another walloping from the rain fall and today the mountains will be having heavy snow falls in the Rockies as it moves North East. (Adamite)

A powerful storm swept across California flooding part of Capitola, in Santa Cruz County, and forcing dozens of mobile homes residents to evacuate. The storm soaked hillsides along the coast threatening landslides as the rain continues. Flooding at the Pacific Cove Mobile Home Park in Capitola caused a sinkhole on March 25th. (Newshopper)

Sensors have been placed along local roads to monitor potential mudslides. The Department of Forestry installed the sensors after a mudslide in 1997 sent 35,000 truckloads of dirt onto Highway 50. The sensors are buried in the ground. Caltrans and the USGS use the real-time data from these sensors to detect potential slides. Geologists say that the saturated soil in 1997, are the same conditions we’re seeing this week. (CBS)

Landslide Overview Map of the Conterminous United States
Landslide Hazards Program
Southern California Landslides – An Overview (USGS)
Index to Landslide Maps in California
California Geological Survey – Landslides
TANC: Earthquakes and Landslides
Caltrans Corridor Landslides Maps

A landslide is defined as “the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope”. (Cruden, 1991). Landslides are a type of “mass wasting” which denotes any down slope movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity. The term “landslide” encompasses events such as rock falls, topples, slides, spreads, and flows, such as debris flows commonly referred to as mudflows or mudslides (Varnes, 1996). Landslides can be initiated by rainfall, earthquakes, volcanic activity, changes in groundwater, disturbance and change of a slope by man-made construction activities, or any combination of these factors. Landslides can also occur underwater, causing tsunami waves and damage to coastal areas. These landslides are called submarine landslides.

Failure of a slope occurs when the force that is pulling the slope downward (gravity) exceeds the strength of the earth materials that compose the slope. They can move slowly, (millimeters per year) or can move quickly and disastrously, as is the case with debris-flows. Debris-flows can travel down a hillside of speeds up to 200 miles per hour (more commonly, 30 – 50 miles per hour), depending on the slope angle, water content, and type of earth and debris in the flow. These flows are initiated by heavy, usually sustained, periods of rainfall, but sometimes can happen as a result of short bursts of concentrated rainfall in susceptible areas. Burned areas charred by wildfires are particularly susceptible to debris flows, given certain soil characteristics and slope conditions. It is estimated that between 25 and 50 people are killed by landslides each year in the United States. The worldwide death toll per year due to landslides is much higher. Most people are killed by rock fall, debris-flows, or volcanic landslides (called lahars). Debris flows occurring in December, 2003 killed 16 people in the San Bernardino, California area.

Material types are broadly categorized as either rock or soil, or a combination of the two for complex movements. Rock refers to hard or firm bedrock that was intact and in place prior to slope movement. Soil, either residual or transported material, is used in the engineering sense to mean unconsolidated particles or poorly cemented rock or aggregates. Soil is distinguished further on the basis of texture as debris (coarse fragments) or earth (fine fragments). The distinction between rock and soil, and the further distinction between debris and earth is most often based on interpretation of geomorphic characteristics within landslide deposits, but can also be inferred from geologic characteristics of the parent material described on maps or observed in the field.

Landslide movements are interpreted from the geomorphic expression of the landslide deposit and source area, and are categorized as falls, topples, spreads, slides, or flows. Falls are masses of soil or rock that dislodge from steep slopes and free-fall, bounce, or roll downslope. Topples move by the forward pivoting of a mass around an axis below the displaced mass. Lateral spreads, commonly induced by liquefaction of material in an earthquake, move by horizontal extension and shear or tensile fractures. Slides displace masses of material along one or more discrete planes. In rotational sliding the slide plane is curved and the mass rotates backwards around an axis parallel to the slope; in translational sliding the failure surface is more or less planar and the mass moves parallel to the ground surface. Flows mobilize as a deforming, viscous mass without a discrete failure plane. More than one form of movement may occur during a failure, in which case the movement is classified as complex if movements occur sequentially and composite if they do not.

Read more on types of landslides here:

Landslides render roads impassable in Colombia

March 27, 2011 – COLOMBIA – Sonia Gonzalez, regional director of the National Roads Institute (Invías), El Tiempo revealed that although progress is being made in the removal of slides from two sides work in Rionegro and El Playon (Santander) the operators have failed to clear the road of all the material carried by streams and river Playonero. Heavy rains have caused the deaths of 4 people, the injury of 12, and the disappearance of three others. In addition, the upheaval has caused the destruction of ten cars and 12 homes. In 4 districts of Rionegro, 150 homes were evacuated. Cracks appear in the roads leading to Barrancabermeja. The Barrancabermeja highway situation is as critical. Nearly 1,500 meters in the asphalt road has prominent cracks and is completely destabilized under ground-like. Water filtration and the action of a fault line has contributed to the collapse of the asphalt spanning a distance of 36 kilometers in the sector known as La Leona, near La Renta. “We have two helicopters hovering overhead and a commission of experts is evaluating the site to decide what to do,” said Sonia Gonzalez, winters. The two affected routes are the main choices of land transportation between Bucaramanga and Barrancabermeja. Other roads are similarly affected in Santander. -El Tiempo

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