The following photographs were taken on June 14, 1998. They show obvious evidence of new and continued land movement near the foot of the 1993 Anaheim Hills landslide. These transverse cracks are similar to the Santiago Boulevard fissure photographs I took on February 22, 1998 -- which preceded that landslide by barely three months! While I am not saying that in three month's time from now another catastrophic Anaheim Hills landslide will occur; but, most certainly, the main landslide will again endanger the lives of all who live within its' path for the following reasons:
1.) No landslide mitigation has yet been done. And no mitigation is ever going to done if the City of Anaheim has its' druthers.
2.) When the pumps fail, as they have in the recent past -- due to the high iron content of the land mass, the water level within the hill will rise, once again lubricating the slide.
3.) While everyone thinks of water as being the sole lubricant of all landslides, the worst and fastest moving landslides are lubricated by sound. The sound can have varied sources -- the rumble of heavy street traffic has been the constant nemesis of Caltrans. Hardly a day goes by in California without hearing about one of their highways being riddled with boulders and landslides.
When Mt. Saint Helen's began to rumble, this internal sound vibration activated a long-runout landslide which was the actual cause of the huge eruption that occurred a split second later.
The sound we, in Anaheim Hills, have to fear is the annual earthquakes that rumble to the east, west and north of us. A sustained rumble from one of these quakes can first set the dust particles to vibrating; then the grains of earth; and then small stones. This pulsating motion would act as a jackhammer between the crown and the head of the slide. Once the slide starts, it's as if it were moving upon vibrating ball bearings.
It is not unusual for a long-runout landslide to travel at over 60 miles per hour. Once attaining that speed these landslides will travel for a distance of between 10 to 50 times their height and appear to be flowing like a tidal wave. If such a catastrophe happened with the Anaheim Hills landslide, our homes would end up somewhere down by the Santa Ana River under tons of flowing earth. And us to.
Fissure #1 Fissure #2 Fissure #3 Fissure #4 Fissure Location