Landslides and slope failures: Caught on camera

Occasionally amazing footage of slope failures is caught on camera by news crews, workers, or by people just being in the right place at the right time. A few of examples of such moments are shown below.

Highway 64 rock slide, Tennessee | 2009

On 10 November 2009, a local news crew were at a road-side site investigating a previous rock slide.

Strange popping sounds on the cliff face were heard as small fragments of rock started to bounce down the slope. Luckily, there was a geologist on site, who recognised this as a sign that another landslide might happen, and she moved everybody out of the way.

The camera man just stood with his camera and recorded this amazing footage of a rock slide event.

This rock is made up of thin layers that dip towards the road that has cut through this mountain side. As water seeps through weak spots (bedding or cleavage planes), the rock loses strength and the rocks slide.

Maiereto landslide, Italy | 2010

An enormous mudflow in Maiereto, Italy, split the side of a hill and buried several roads.

On 15 Feb 2010, the side of a hill slope slipped past people whilst they stood and watched.

A landslide had happened here before and geologists had seen signs that it would move again so people were evacuated and no one was hurt.

Heavy rainfall in the Maiereto region is likely to have started this slide.


Columbia mudslide | 2010

An enormous mudflow in Columbia in September 2010 buried approximately 20 people.

The people were caught whilst they were changing buses after a previous smaller landslide had blocked their passage.

The mudslide swept away houses, people and cars and rescuers were forced to call off initial searches due to heavy rains and the fear of more landslides.

Canada | Railway embankment failure | 2011

This amazing footage of the wash-out of a railway embankment was filmed on site in Stackpool, Ontario, Canada, in 2011.

The team were on site as they feared the area might be dangerous due to water flooding.

It is reported the wash-out area was approximately 142 ft long, 25 ft deep and 35 ft wide.

Norway | Helicopter-induced rockfall | 2011

This is a great example of the management of a cliff face to prevent a rockfall and potential loss of life.

The footage of the huge boulders tumbling down the cliff side towards a road and Fjord, are a stark image when considering this could have happened naturally at any time.

The operation took place at Oppdølstranda on Nordmøre, Norway, in 2011.

A wrecking ball, suspended from a helicopter, strikes down an unstable rock off a cliff face to eliminate a rock fall hazard for the road below.

The helicopter then tips water over the rock face to loosen and remove any remaining small rocks that may fail in the future.


Contact the Landslide Response Team

British Geological Survey
NG12 5GG
E-mail: Landslides team
Telephone: 0115 936 3143
Fax: 0115 936 3276