Daniel's Harbour could move for years to come: geologist

A provincial geologist who assessed Daniel's Harbour after last week's landslide says the area will continue to be unstable.
Damage incurred from Daniel's Harbour landslide on Nov. 5, 2013. (CBC)

A provincial geologist has assessed the community of Daniel's Harbour after last week's landslide, and says the area could be unstable for years to come.

Martin Batterson was in Daniel's Harbour on Tuesday to assess the damage.  

Batterson said last week's incident comes as no surprise.

"I think it's almost certain there will be some continual movement from the site. It's quite unstable at the moment," said Batterson.

He said the ground in Daniel's Harbour is unique; In fact, there is no other place like it in the province.

This house was lost during a landslide in Daniel's Harbour in 2007. (CBC)

Batterson said wet, unstable clay is oozing out underneath the gravel, and the more that clay seeps out, the more the gravel on top of it falls. In landslide in 2007, a house fell off a cliff.

"Then the material on top just doesn't have the strength and just collapses ... it's like a conveyer belt out towards the coast. Nature doesn't really like vertical slopes. It's going to want to settle back to a more stable angle. Hopefully, they will be small from here on, but we can say there will continue to be movement at that site." 

Town officials are worried about water and sewer pipes in the area.     

Batterson is now preparing a report of his findings. The Department of Municipal Affairs will decide what happens next.

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