A landslide that struck near Chain Lake, resulted in the closure of Shinin Creek Road and Princeton Summerland Road, a major roadway located in British Columbia, Canada.
The ground failure occurred on the morning of April 25, 2020, near the intersection of the aforementioned roads. Fortunately, there were no injuries associated with the incident.
The slide also damaged part of the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail, the longest rail-trail in British Columbia extending from Hope to Castlegar, which was also closed. Officials warned locals to avoid the area and stay away from the landslide. “The area is unsafe until further notice. Stay clear of the slide area at KVR and highway for your own safety,” Rob Miller, Hayes Creek Fire Chief, stated. According to reports, the damaged section of the rail is about 70 meters.
However, people were eager to visit the area and forced the Erris Volunteer Fire Association to issue another alert. “It has been very unsettling to see many posts on social media from people wanting to explore the slide site at 33K on the KVR. While we understand people's curiosity, the site is NOT accessible and the area is unstable and very dangerous,” the Erris Volunteer Fire Association, posted on Facebook.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene to evaluate the situation. During the following days, geotechnical engineers monitored the conditions of the landslide. Its causes have not been identified yet.
According to recent updates, the Princeton Summerland Road was cleaned from falling debris and soon re-opened whereas the KVR Trail remains closed.
It is not the first time that the area is impacted by ground failures. On April, 2018, the Princeton - Summerland Road was closed after a landslide occurred near the Mountain View Road. The failure was one of the numerous instabilities caused in the region at that time of the year as rainfalls elevate the groundwater level and trigger landslides.
The KVR trail was also damaged back in 2013 after a rockslide hit one of its trestles. Authorities reported that multiple trestles have been affected before, mostly by fires, but it was the first time one of them was impacted by falling rocks. According to an extended report issued for the KVR, the rail has always been affected by natural disasters including landslides, fires and avalanches, and is described as one of the most challenging railway projects in Canada.