February 2016 landslides

Landslides reported from media sources during February 2016.

Sunday 14 February

  • Valentine's Day earthquake: A severe magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck Christchurch at 1.13pm on Sunday. It was centred 2km off the east coast of Christchurch, at a depth of 8km. Rockfalls and cliff collapses were reported from several areas around eastern Christchurch, prompting a GeoNet landslide response. Rockfalls were reported at Whitewash Head, overlooking Taylor’s Mistake, Godley Head, Wakefield Avenue (behind the bowling club), and Peacocks Gallop. There were also reports of liquefaction. A separate GNS Science team mapped liquefaction associated with the earthquake.

Thursday 18 February

  • Torrential rain and high winds caused overnight havoc in the Nelson region, with flooded homes and roads, fallen trees and swollen rivers. A landslide damaged a section of Nelson's Brook Waimarama Sanctuary pest-proof fence. The slip wrecked about 50m of new fence, damaging both the Dun Mountain trail and the fence track. The pest-proof fence will eventually enclose nearly 700 hectares at the head of the Brook Valley.

Friday 19 February

  • Galatea debris flow: At about 6.45am a debris flood, consisting mainly of logs, fine sediment and flood water, inundated and damaged a house on Troutbeck Road, Galatea, behind the Galatea Flat Hills. Two people were trapped in the house and had to be rescued by heavy machinery. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council rain gauge on the Whirinaki River at Galatea recorded 91mm in 12 hours.
  • In the eastern Bay of Plenty area, Ruatahuna Road was closed by a large slip just past Te Whatai, and Galatea Road was also affected by slips and fallen trees at Waiohau Hill. Whakatane District Council reported surface flooding in Whakatane township.
  • Further south at Otaki, another slip came down near the end of the road at Otaki Forks, which was already closed after a large slip closed the road in December 2015. The slip site is at Blue Bluff, about 13km inland from State Highway 1. There were no people or vehicles in the area at the time of the slip. Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) estimated between 3,000 and 5,000 cubic metres of debris came off the bank and onto the road. The slip occurred following the first significant rainfall since Christmas. KCDC were concerned about trampers that were still trying to cross the slip face, as it was blocking access to the Tararua Forest Park. Otaki Gorge Road has been closed to vehicles and pedestrians since mid-December last year due to the instability of the site and cracks showing the land is moving. A total of about 12,000 cubic metres of debris has fallen since the first in a series of slips occurred in August 2015.


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