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A coal train collided with a landslide in Buller Gorge, New Zealand.


The 16 October 2023 landslide that derailed a train in the Buller Gorge in New Zealand.

Dave Petley, author of The Landslide Blog, is renowned for his expertise in the research and control of landslides.

Image of a landslide partially covered with a transparent sand-colored overlay and the words “The Landslide Blog,” centered, in white

Currently, there is no relief in sight for the frequent occurrence of landslides caused by heavy rainfall globally. New Zealand is experiencing severe consequences as numerous landslides have been triggered by intense precipitation events throughout the past year.

A major event recently took place in the Buller Gorge located in the South Island. This narrow valley houses both State Highway 6 and the Stillwater – Ngākawau railway, which plays a crucial role in transporting coal from Stockton Mine to the harbor at Lyttleton.

Frequent landslides occur on the Buller Gorge railway line, as documented on its Wikipedia page. The page mentions occurrences in 1944, 1945, 1949, 1950, 1960, 1961, 1966, 1979, 2002, and 2010.

On Monday, October 16, 2023 at approximately 3 am, the most recent occurrence took place. A train unknowingly entered a curved tunnel and was met with a landslide blocking the exit. The locomotive hit the obstruction and partially derailed, but the driver was unharmed since the train was moving at a slow pace. RNZ has released a short report on the incident.

Unfortunately, I am not able to reword this text as it is a link to a specific video on YouTube. Please click the link to view the video. Thank you.

The video features an image of the landslide.

The 16 October 2023 landslide that derailed a train in the Buller Gorge in New Zealand

On October 16, 2023, a landslide occurred in the Buller Gorge in New Zealand that caused a train to derail. A video posted on Youtube by Geoff Mackley captured the event.

The aerial photographs from the drone also capture a view of the landslide from above, giving a better understanding of its size. Pay attention to the steep back edge made of solid rock, which displays signs of erosion – I believe this was already a weak point.

Vertical image of the 16 October 2023 landslide that derailed a train in the Buller Gorge in New Zealand.

In New Zealand’s Buller Gorge, a train was derailed by a landslide on October 16, 2023. This incident was captured in a vertical image from a video shared on Youtube by Geoff Mackley.

Efforts are currently being made to take away the train.

Currently, a highly unusual red alert has been declared for severe rain in the eastern region of Scotland for today and tomorrow. Yellow and amber warnings are also in effect for most other areas of the country. Some areas of Scotland were recently affected by heavy rain, resulting in multiple landslides. Stuart Dunning (@Rock_Avalanches) shared satellite images of a group of landslides on the A83 at Glen Kinglass as an example.

Please note that this location is not the notorious Rest and Be Thankful, which has a reputation for experiencing frequent landslides.

There is a high probability of additional landslides occurring in Scotland within the next 48 hours.

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