Advertisement

The 17 February 2006 rock slide-debris avalanche at Guinsaugon Philippines: a synthesis

  • Richard H. GuthrieEmail author
  • Stephen G. Evans
  • Sandra G. Catane
  • Mark A. H. Zarco
  • Ricarido M. SaturayJr.
Original Paper

Abstract

The paper presents a synthesis of the key findings of the conference and workshop convened to consider the causes of and lessons to be learned from the disastrous rockslide-debris avalanche on 17 February 2006 in southern Leyte, Philippines. Some 1,221 people died and the barangay of Guinsagon was buried. The geology, historical seismicity, progressive disintegration of the rock mass, development of smectite layers and the continuous development and movement of shears within the Philippine Fault Zone combine in the steep rugged terrain to produce massive landslides, of which the 15 million m3 Guinsaugon event was the latest. The relevance of recent heavy rain and an almost synchronous seismic event are considered but it is concluded that the movement was the result of progressive failures and tectonic weakening while the landslide hazard was increased by the presence of rice paddy fields in the valley bottom. An anecdotal time to failure curve is presented, based on eyewitness accounts and observations of instability. Attention is drawn to the importance of both the education and training of the local people in the recognition of signs of potential movement and a reporting management system. Such simple measures could save lives and empower local communities to take some ownership of their level of landslide risk.

Keywords

Landslide disaster Philippines Time to failure Rockslide-debris avalanche Landslide trigger Landslide risk 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the contributions from approximately 160 scientists, survivors, students and local elected officials who participated in the 2008 Guinsaugon conference and workshop, Leyte Island Philippines. The conference was convened by the University of Philippines and the University of Waterloo, and we acknowledge financial assistance from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the city of Tacloban and the municipality of Saint Bernard. Finally this paper is respectfully dedicated to the memory of the people who lost their lives in the Guinsaugon landslide.

References

  1. Allen CR (1962) Circum-Pacific faulting in the Philippines–Taiwan region. J Geophys Res 67:4795–4812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aurelio MA (1992) Tectonique du segment central de al faille Philippine (etude structurale, cinèmatique et evolution geodynamique). These de Doctorat, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France, p 500Google Scholar
  3. Aurelio MA (2000) Shear partitioning in the Philippines: constraints from Philippine fault and global positioning system data. Isl Arc 9:584–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aurelio MA, Barrier E, Gaulon R, Rangin C (1997) Deformation and stress states along the central segment of the Philippine fault: implications to wrench fault tectonics. J Asian Earth Sci 15:107–119Google Scholar
  5. Barrier E, Huchon P, Aurelio MA (1991) Philippine fault: a key for Philippine kinematics. Geology 19:32–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bautista MLP, Oike K (2000) Estimation of the magnitudes and epicenters of Philippine historical earthquakes. Tectonophysics 317:137–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cardiel GG, Belleza GV, Guillerma JTA, LLagas ML, Evangelista D, Dupio A (2008) Kinematics of slope mass failure at the zone of initiation, Guinsaugon slide, St. Bernard, Southern Leyte. In: Proceedings of the international conference–workshop on the 17 February 2006 Guinsaugon landslide, 28 April–02 May, Tacloban, Philippines, TS1-O05Google Scholar
  8. Catane SG, Cabria HB, Tomaron CP, Saturay RM, Zarco MAH, Pioquinto WC (2007) Catastrophic rockslide-debris avalanche at St. Bernard, southern Leyte, Philippines. Landslides 4:85–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Catane SG, Cabria HB, Zarco MAH, Saturay RM, Mirasol-Robert AA (2008) The 17 February 2006 rock slide-debris avalanche, southern Leyte, Philippines: deposit characteristics and failure mechanism. Bull Eng Geol Env 67:305–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cole J, McCabe R, Moriarty T, Malicse JA, Delfin FG, Tebar H, Ferrer HP (1989) A preliminary Neogene palaeomagnetic data set from Leyte and its relation to motion on the Philippine fault. Tectonophysics 168:205–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cornforth DH (2005) Landslides in practice: investigation, analysis and remedial/preventative options in soils. John Wiley and Sons, New Jersey, p 596Google Scholar
  12. Corominas J (1996) The angle of reach as a mobility index for small landslides. Can Geotech J 33:260–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Daag A, Perez J, Solidum R, Jiorgio R, Caniete N (2008) Contribution of small magnitude earthquake to the Guinsaugon landslide. In: Proceedings of the international conference–workshop on the 17 February 2006 Guinsaugon landslide, 28 April–02 May, Tacloban, Philippines, TS1-O07, 2008Google Scholar
  14. Domasig WF (1991) Report on the ground investigation of reported landslides and ground fissures and other earthquake-related damages in Cabalian–St. Bernard area in southern Leyte. Memorandum report, Philippines mines and geosciences development service, p 6Google Scholar
  15. Duquesnoy T (1997) Contributions de la géodésie à l’étude de grands décrochements actifs associés à des zones de subduction à convergence oblique. Thése de docteur en sciences, University of Paris XI, OrsayGoogle Scholar
  16. Duquesnoy T, Barrier E, Kasser M, Aurelio MA, Gaulon R, Punongbayan RS, Rangin C, the French–Philippine Cooperation team (1994) Detection of creep along the Philippine fault: first results of geodetic measurements on Leyte island, central Philippine. Geophys Res Lett 21:975–978CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Evans SG, Guthrie RH, Roberts NJ, Bishop NF (2007) The disastrous 17 February 2006 rockslide-debris avalanche on Leyte island, Philippines: a catastrophic landslide in tropical mountain terrain. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 7:89–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Futalan KM, Biscaro JRD, Saturay RM, Catane SG (2008) Stratigraphy of the Guinsaugon landslide source area, southern Leyte, Philippines. In: Proceedings of the international conference–workshop on the 17 February 2006 Guinsaugon landslide, 28 April–02 May, Tacloban, Philippines, TS1-P01Google Scholar
  19. Haber RN, Haber LR (2000) Experiencing, remembering and reporting events: the cognitive psychology of eyewitness testimony. Psychol Public Policy Law 6:1057–1097CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hart J, Hearn G, Chant C (2002) Engineering on the precipice: mountain road rehabilitation in the Philippines. Q J Eng Geol 35:223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hungr O (1995) A model for the runout analysis of rapid flow slides, debris flows and avalanches. Can Geotech J 32:610–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hungr O, Evans SG (2004) Entrainment of debris in rock avalanches: an analysis of a long run-out mechanism. Geol Soc Am Bull 116:1240–1252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hungr O, Evans SG, Bovis MJ, Hutchinson JN (2001) A review of the classification of landslides of the flow type. Environ Eng Geosci 7:221–238Google Scholar
  24. Katz Y, Weinberger R, Aydin A (2004) Geometry and kinematic evolution of Riedel shear structures, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. J Struct Geol 26:491–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Keefer DK (1984) Landslides caused by earthquakes. Geol Soc Am Bull 95:406–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kilburn CRJ, Petley DN (2003) Forecasting giant, catastrophic slope collapse: lessons from Vajont, northern Italy. Geomorphology 54:21–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Korup O (2004) Geomorphic implications of fault zone weakening: slope instability along the Alpine fault, south Westland to Fiordland, New Zealand. J Geol Geophys 47:257–267Google Scholar
  28. Lagmay AMF, Tengonciang AMP, Marcos HV, Pascua CS (2003) A structural model guide for geothermal exploration in ancestral Mount Bao, Leyte, Philippines. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 122:133–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lagmay AMF, Ong JBT, Fernandez DFD, Lapus MR, Rodolfo RS, Tengonciang AMP, Soria JLA, Baliatan EG, Quimba ZL, Uichianco CL, Pagluican EMR, Remedio ARC, Lorenzo GRH, Valdivia W, Avila FB (2006) Scientists investigate recent Philippine landslide. Eos 87:121–124Google Scholar
  30. Lagmay AMF, Tengonciang AMP, Rodolfo RS, Soria JLE, Baliatan EG, Paguican ER, Ong JBT, Lapus MR, Fernandez DFD, Quimba ZP, Uichanco CL (2008) Science guides search and rescue after the 2006 Philippine landslide. Disasters 32:416–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lanuza AG, Chu AV, Mangao EA, Soneja DS, Sanez R, Garcia DC (1994) Aftershocks observation of 05 July 1994 earthquake in Cabalian area, southern Leyte, PHIVOLCS internal report, p 35Google Scholar
  32. Makino M, Mandanas AA, Catane SG (2007) Gravity basement of the Guinsaugon landslide along the Philippine fault zone. Earth Planets Space 59:1067–1071Google Scholar
  33. Orense RP, Sapuay SE (2006) Preliminary report on the 17 February 2006 Leyte, Philippines landslide. Soils Found 46:685–693Google Scholar
  34. Pascua CS, Catane SG, Zarco MAH, Cabria HB, Saturay RMS (2008) Mineralogical characteristics of the Guinsaugon landslide gouge and its implications on the failure mechanism. In: Proceedings of the international conference–workshop on the 17 February 2006 Guinsaugon landslide, 28 April–02 May, Tacloban, Philippines, TS1-O06, 2008Google Scholar
  35. Petley DN, Higuchi T, Petley DJ, Bulmer MH, Carey J (2005) Development of progressive landslide failure in cohesive materials. Geology 33:201–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. PHIVOCS (2006) Earthquake wave data accessed online: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/Earthquake/LatestEQ/2006/20060217_0236.htm
  37. Punongbayan RS, Arboleda RA, Bornas MV, Abigania MT (2000) The 3 August 1999 Cherry hills landslide in Antipolo City, Philippines. Landslide News 13:12–15Google Scholar
  38. Riedel W (1929) Zur mechanic geologischer brucherscheinungen. Zentral-blatt fur Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie B: 354–368Google Scholar
  39. Sajona FG, Bellon H, Maury RC, Pubellier M, Quebral RD, Cotten J, Bayon FE, Pagado E, Pamatian P (1997) Tertiary and quaternary magmatism in Mindanao and Leyte (Philippines): Geochronology, geochemistry and tectonic setting. J Asian Earth Sci 15:121–153Google Scholar
  40. Sassa K, Fukuoka H, Soridum R, Wang G, Marui H, Furumura T, Wang F (2009) Mechanism of the initiation and motion of the 2006 Leyte landslide, Philippines (this issue)Google Scholar
  41. Suwa H (2006) Catastrophe caused by the 17 February 2006 southern Leyte landslide in Philippine. J Jpn Soc Nat Disaster Sci 25:83–97Google Scholar
  42. Velasco AA, Ammon CJ, Lay T, Hagerty M (1996) Rupture process of the 1990 Luzon, Philippines (M w = 7.7), earthquake. J Geophys Res 101 B10:22419–22434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Voight DJ (1988) A method for prediction of volcanic eruptions. Nature 332:125–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yamanaka Y (2006) Website EIC note of seismology, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 23 February 2006. In: Suwa H (2006) Catastrophe caused by the 17 February 2006 southern Leyte landslide in Philippine. J Jpn Soc Nat Disaster Sci 25: 83–97Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard H. Guthrie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephen G. Evans
    • 1
  • Sandra G. Catane
    • 2
  • Mark A. H. Zarco
    • 3
  • Ricarido M. SaturayJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Landslide Research Program, Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.National Institute of Geological Sciences, College of ScienceUniversity of PhilippinesQuezon CityPhilippines
  3. 3.Institute of Civil Engineering, College of EngineeringUniversity of PhilippinesQuezon CityPhilippines

Personalised recommendations