A deadly disaster in Washington drives home the danger posed by landslides
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The Tiny Washington state town of Oso is used to wet weather–rain falls every other day on average–but the past few months have been biblical, with precipitation as much as 200% above normal. Add in the steep terrain and loose soil and it’s easy to see in hindsight that Oso was ripe for disaster.
Yet when the ground gave way on the morning of March 22, no one was ready for the scale of the devastation. More than 15 million cu. yd. of earth, equal to 3 million dump-truck loads, came tumbling down, burying nearly 50 homes in the hilly area about 60 miles northeast of Seattle.