Image: Landslide and Barrier Lake near Oso, Washington

Mar 27, 2014
Image acquired March 23, 2014.

On March 22, 2014, a rainfall-triggered landslide near Oso, Washington, sent muddy debris spilling across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. The debris swamped numerous homes, resulting in the deaths of at least 24 people, according to news reports. As of March 25, dozens of people were still missing.

The created an earthen dam that blocked the river, causing a barrier lake to form. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image of landslide and the on March 23, 2014. An image of the same area on January 18 is shown for comparison. Turn the comparison tool on to see how the landscape changed. To see aerial views of the landslide, read this blog post.

As water backed up, local authorities expressed concerns about a potential flash flood. On March 23, water began to flow around the north side of the dam. On March 26, a National Weather Service flood warning remained in effect for areas on the Stillaguamish River east of the blockage.

Acquired January 18, 2014

According to Durham University geologist Dave Petley, the landslide was a reactivation of an earlier landslide that caused problems in 1988 and 2006. The Seattle Times has reported that retired US. Geological Survey geologist Daniel Miller warned the hillside had the "potential for a large catastrophic failure" in a report filed with U.S. Corp of Engineers in 1999.

Explore further: Study outlines 20-year process to create meteorological partnership between US and Cuba

Related Stories

A day after Wash. landslide, examinations continue

Mar 28, 2013

Authorities are assessing the damage and danger from a massive landslide on a scenic Washington state island as nervous residents wait for more detailed information about how safe the area is.

Japan tsunami exacerbated by landslide

Dec 18, 2013

The 2011 Japan tsunami, which killed up to 20,000 people and caused the partial meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant, was made worse by an underwater landslide, according to scientists.

Recommended for you

Image: Cambodian rivers from orbit

21 hours ago

A flooded landscape in Cambodia between the Mekong River (right) and Tonlé Sap river (left) is pictured by Japan's ALOS satellite. The centre of this image is about 30 km north of the centre of the country's ...

Image: Agricultural fires in Angola, West Africa

May 21, 2015

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image which detected dozens of fires burning in southwestern Africa on May 21, 2015. The location, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.