Landslide warning issued again to some Pemberton residents
About 35 homes in the Catalina Creek area are in the path of a potentially deadly slide
Dozens of people who live near Pemberton, B.C., have been warned once again to leave their properties because officials say there's a high risk of a deadly landslide near Catalina Creek.
Patricia Heintzman, chair of The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, says the first warning went out to residents last September, but officials felt it was necessary to issue another.
"It seems people did not take that warning as seriously as they should have so we really want to make sure people are safe. We recommend people not occupy for their own safety and take the right measures."
She says an 800-foot corridor along Catalina Creek is affected. There are more than 50 properties in the corridor and about 35 have dwellings.
Heintzman says people who don't leave their houses need to be sure they have an evacuation plan and they need to monitor the creek.
A geological report issued last summer concluded, "The landslide risk facing residences at Lillooet Lake Estates would likely be judged to be unacceptable."
"Under existing conditions, it is judged that it is only a matter of time before there is a fatality at Lillooet Lake Estates," said the report by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Meager Creek landslides also a concern
The nearby Meager Creek area has also been the scene of several large landslides in recent years. A 1998 slide sent more than a million cubic metres of rock and debris down Mount Meager, blocking a creek and creating a lake 800 metres wide.
In August 2010, a significant slide swept through the Meager Creek area, forcing the evacuation of 1,500 people. The two-kilometre-wide landslide also partially blocked the Lillooet River.
A geological study from 2008 says the risk of another massive slide taking place in the Meager Creek area is "unacceptable," and warns of widespread destruction and loss of life if one occurs.
"A landslide as large as the largest that has occurred during the Holocene [since 11,700 AD to the present] probably would generate a debris flow that would destroy much of the development in the Lillooet Valley and, if not proceeded by warnings, would kill hundreds or possibly thousands of people," said the paper, published in the 2008 issue of Georisk.
Earlier this year a massive landslide in Washington state killed an estimated 90 people when it swept through the community of Oso.