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Monday, 19 November 2018 01:00

Old fort landslide caused by bedrock failure: People return home

Old Fort Landslide Old Fort Landslide.

The Old Fort landslide, a mass movement that caused the evacuation of about 50 residences, was caused by a bedrock failure.

A team of geologists studied thoroughly the phenomenon since the last movement on September 30, 2018. Tim Smith, a senior engineering geologist, stated that the bedrock failure had also triggered another slide to the west and had created a tension crack to the east towards the houses of Old Fort. Westrek, the geotechnical consulting firm tasked with assessing the landslide, analyzed the data and evaluated the potential hazard of the local community. Data from LiDAR were collected every day during the investigation but there were no signs of further ground movement.

Finally, the investigation showed that people can return to their homes. Claire Trevena, Transportation Minister, expressed her gratitude for the patience of the community members: "We know this has been a stressful time for people who had to be evacuated, and I'm happy to hear the road is in place and people are able to return to their homes, now that it is safe to do so."

The failure initiated in an area of a gravel pit that was operating on the hillside above the town of Old Fort. Smith stated that the ground had been moving for a long period before it collapsed. "This piece of ground has been moving for quite a while before it let go," he said. Data showed that the volume of the slide is approximately 8 million cubic meters.

Continuous updates are now being provided by an automated monitoring system that was placed in the area, the Ministry of Transportation said.

Nevertheless, residents are yet concerned about the situation in Old Fort. "Tomorrow we're going to start asking the question 'why?' We're going to ask the question, what if something takes the road out again? What is going to be the plan? Because the plan can't be a mass evacuation again," Gordon Pardy, a local, stated.

Sources: Alaskahighwaynews.caNationalpost.com

Read 234 times Last modified on Monday, 19 November 2018 16:10

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Landslide in the Old Fort

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