When the earth decides to let go.

On March 14, 2010, rain-sodden ground on a hillside to the west of Maierato in Calabria, Italy, had had enough of fighting with gravity, and slid into the valley below. The slide was captured by an amateur photographer amid the cries of people to Run! Run! and various oaths to “Madonna santissima!” The video is truly chilling – we don’t expect good old terra firma to let go like that under our feet – it’s like a river of earth.

Fortunately for the village, the hillside was undeveloped except for agriculture; still, there was a lot of damage to the neighboring village.

10_02 Italy 1

Maierato before the slide.

Maerato2

After.

If you have Google Earth, just do a search for Maierato, Calabria, Italy – being able to see the elevation and move around the area gives you a good idea of the lay of the land.

For no reason, here’s another video of an epic landslide captured in France:

And one more:

This is the 1993 Pentai Ramis landslide in Malaysia. The landslide took place in an abandoned open cast tin mine close to the coast. This area of Malaysia is well known for its tin mining industry. The video footage shows the rapid collapse of the working face closest the sea, allowing complete flooding of the mine and forming a new cove measuring approximately 0.5 km2 (0.19 sq mi). Although the video quality is poor, the impact of watching this much earth move is powerful – it just keeps going, until the ocean floods in.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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