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#201807 - 05/14/10 04:14 AM Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2921
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I don't know how you prepare for something like this. Two adults and two children died when a sinkhole/landslide swallowed their house. They were watching TV in the basement.

"Their house tumbled down 40 metres into a giant crater created by the landslide, 400 metres long and 600 metres wide. The four bodies were found submerged in thick sludge in the basement. Their bodies were found Tuesday night by firefighters who scooped away the sludge by hand ..."

http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=3012668

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec/four-missing-in-quebec-after-home-collapses-into-sinkhole/article1564432/%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3E/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nati...article1565639/

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Family+buried+alive+landslide+authorities/3023520/story.html

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#201808 - 05/14/10 04:23 AM Re: Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4 [Re: dougwalkabout]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2785
Loc: Big Sky Country
Nope. You just about have say in a situation like that, "when your number's up, it's up." They must have had no warning whatsoever.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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#201809 - 05/14/10 04:51 AM Re: Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4 [Re: Phaedrus]
jzmtl Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/18/10
Posts: 530
Loc: Montreal Canada
If they had been in the 1st or 2nd floor they probably would've survived, since the floors are still intact, which basement doesn't have to keep people falling out/mud coming in.

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#201812 - 05/14/10 12:43 PM Re: Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4 [Re: jzmtl]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
My deepest sympathies for this family and others impacted by this tragedy. But, I can't agree with the statement "I don't know how you prepare for something like this." From one of the articles cited:

"Another resident lingering at the roadside barriers, who declined to give his name, said sinkholes and landslides are common in this area of southern Quebec.

He blamed "blue glaze" a very soft type of clay that lines the banks of the Yamaska River.

Civil security officials said the home was sitting in a zone known to represent a risk of mudslides."

Yes, you can't personally prepare when the terrain collapses and swallows your house whole. But no, you can mitigate your risk by not building homes in areas subject to landslides, mudslides, sinkholes, etc. When you do, or when local ordinances allow it, residents have to accept the risk of something like this happening to them. Generally speaking this tragedy is not much different than wildfires consuming houses built on hillsides above Oakland, or in the valleys outside of LA, or taken out by mudslides in Seattle along Prentice Lane. These areas are known to be hazardous over time, but mostly over durations where folks - including city planners and zoning experts - can ignore or overlook the short term hazard of building and living in them.

A friend from Spain always marvels at our American ability to build houses on hillsides - such a thing has never been done in his part of Spain.


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#201813 - 05/14/10 12:54 PM Re: Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4 [Re: jzmtl]
speedemon Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 98
"Major slides happen every two years or so on slopes in this region, but most occur in places that are not inhabited." [the article]

Hate to say it, but pay attention to where you build your house. Just like the people out in CA that build their houses on unstable hills, then are bewildered when a slide takes it out. Or the people across the country that build their house on a river flood plain, and then are amazed when the river floods their house.

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#201823 - 05/14/10 07:32 PM Re: Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4 [Re: Lono]
Horus Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 53
Loc: MA
I don't know. Considering the situation, seems a little harsh, guys. Now all of Southern Quebec is off limits because of the molecular structure of this clay? Not very practical.
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#201825 - 05/14/10 08:33 PM Re: Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4 [Re: Horus]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Apparently, the area is known for this special clay: Quebec geologist on nature of landslides

"...when you start putting geo-risks on a map, property values are affected."

Hmmmm... people's lives vs property values... I wonder where the people live who made the money on the sale of this and similar properties?

An awful way to die, suffocating in mud...

Sue

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#201860 - 05/15/10 01:13 PM Re: Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4 [Re: Susan]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 450
Loc: Somerset UK
I would agree that the only realistic prep for such an event is not to buy or build a house in an area prone to landslides and sink holes.
The risk is not actually that great, consider how many houses in the area have NOT suffered such a disaster, but those of a cautious or nervous disposition should avoid.
In the sad case being disscussed, the risk could have been slightly reduced by only useing the basesment for storage, laundry, or some other purpose that means it is only occupied briefy rather than for many hours at a time.The news pictures suggest that anyone elswhere in the house might well have lived.

As posted by others, people still move willingly to areas prone to wildfires, earthquakes, and tornados. The risks of these can be reduced by prudent preps, but the risk can only be eliminated by living someplace else.

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#201882 - 05/15/10 06:01 PM Re: Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4 [Re: adam2]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7369
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: adam2
As posted by others, people still move willingly to areas prone to wildfires, earthquakes, and tornados. The risks of these can be reduced by prudent preps, but the risk can only be eliminated by living someplace else.


It is an out of the frying pan, into the fire, situation. I have talked to recent arrivals from Florida who moved here (to California) specifically to avoid hurricanes. I gather that they prefer earthquakes. After every major earthquake, U-Haul rentals peak as folks move to Kansas. Perhaps tornadoes are more fun..

Fires are almost universal. Wherever you live, there are hazards. Learn the local hazard profile and adapt.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#201900 - 05/16/10 07:20 AM Re: Sinkhole/landslide swallows house, kills 4 [Re: hikermor]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2785
Loc: Big Sky Country
I live in South Dakota. Most deaths here are from boredom. wink
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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