The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Thursday, 11 January 2018 01:00

Huge crack spreading on Washington’s Rattlesnake Ridge prompts evacuations (video)

Authorities in Yakima County, Washington are closely monitoring Rattlesnake Ridge, after a large tension crack formed recently on the hillside and a landslide is imminent.

The crack on Rattlesnake Ridge runs along Interstate 82 (I-82), about 40 miles southeast of Seattle. According to officials, the fissure is spreading about 1.4 feet per week and measures 250-feet at its deepest point. The exact cause is unknown, but geologists say it's most likely due to shifting soil on the slope.

According to geologists, about 8 million tons of land have been sliding down the hillside since October, when they started monitoring the area. The Yakima County Office of Emergency Management issued a statement saying that since the slide is slow-moving and on a gentle slope it would be small in nature and hopefully stabilize itself.

The Yakima County Office of Emergency Management has put the area near the ridge on a Level 3 recommended evacuation warning, which means that residents are advised to evacuate immediately. However, not all of them have left their homes.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, falling rocks are possible on nearby highways. Officials have placed containers filled with concrete barriers between the highway and the ridge, to keep any debris from falling on the road.

Sources: ABC News, The Weather Channel

Read 1334 times Last modified on Thursday, 11 January 2018 12:51


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