A landslide that occurred in northern B.C. last month was so large it actually registered as a 2.9 magnitude earthquake in Juneau, Alaska.
The rockfall is believed to have been triggered on Christmas Eve along the Alaska-B.C. border, sending millions of cubic metres of rock falling thousands of feet into the Taku River valley.
Large trees were snapped like twigs as boulders, some the size of houses, came crashing down.
“It’s an ‘oh my god’ situation,” Jamie Tait from Tundra Helicopters in Atlin told Global News. He flew along the river to see the size and scale of the devastation.
“I’ve flown up and down that river for the better part of 40 years and you never see that stuff.”
Tait said the rock must have fallen about 4,000 vertical feet before hitting the bottom.
This is the second huge landslide that has occurred in B.C. in just over a month.
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A landslide that happened in a remote inlet on B.C.’s central coast on Nov. 28 caused a shock that was equivalent to a 4.9-magnitude earthquake, experts say.
The slide occurred at Elliot Creek, just east of the head of Bute Inlet north of Powell River.
Part of the mountainside fell away and much of the debris crashed into an already swollen glacial lake, creating a wave 70 to 110 metres high.
An estimated 7.7 million cubic metres of water, mud and rock blasted downstream and roared into the inlet, forever altering some prime salmon spawning habitat.
The concern is the same for the Taku River slide and the damage it may have done to the salmon spawning grounds.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed it will be examining what happened and the consequences when the weather improves in the spring.