A major, fatal rockslide event took place at Castell de Mur in Catalonia, Spain on Monday, April 16, 2018, killing at least 2 people.
According to first estimates, this rock slope failure had a mass of about 50 000 tonnes and a volume of 20 000 cubic meters (706 300 cubic feet).
"The landslide came off of a steep scarp and swept across and buried a highway," landslides expert Dr. Dave Petley said. "Unfortunately there was a car on the road at the time, and the two occupants were killed."
An engineering geologist Carlos Jiméne said this area has a history of landslides.
He noted that near to this rockslide there is an abandoned small village called Les Esplugues de Mur. This village had to be abandoned around 70 years ago because of effects of repeated rockslides, which even destroyed some houses.
The only remaining building was the church, but this has been destroyed in Monday's rockslide.
"It appears that the landslide followed a period of heavy rainfall," Petley said.
"It is worth noting the challenges faced by the emergency service in an accident like this," he added.
"Accessing the site is very challenging, and of course there is always the risk of further slope collapses. Moving the boulders, when they are this size, is a great challenge, and of course, a rockslide such as this is very traumatic for the victims."
Featured image: Large rockslide hits Castel del Mur, Catalonia, Spain. Credit: Bombers