The Quick Clay Landslide at Rissa – 1978 (English commentary)

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On the 29th of April 1978, a quick clay landslide devastated large areas of the rural district of Rissa I mid-Norway. One person died whilst 13 farms; 2 homes; a cabin and a community centre were taken by the clay masses.

Five to six million cubic metres of clay collapsed from an area of 330,000 m2 leaving a 1.5 kilometre slide face. The landslide caused great material damage to the community of Leira when a resulting three-metre high floodwave breached the opposite bank of lake Botnen shortly after the main slide.

The Rissa landslide was caught on 8 mm cinefilm by two film amateurs. This is still used actively in avalanche preventative and educational work.

All rights belong to NGI. All or any part of the material on this movie can neither be copied nor re-edited in any way. All commercial rights are reserved NGI.


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  1. At 5:05 they state the load from the fill caused the collapse but you can plainly see only the front portion fails and that failure also stretches down the coast where no fill was added. Then after the first slide huge areas adjoining gave way. So obviously the salt had been leeched out of those areas and the fill had nothing to do with this event. It was going to happen anyway. The farmer should sue for erroneous defamation.

  2. why are people bringing up global warming here at all? what compells one to go on an unrelated video of a 40 year old documentary to complain about climate change?

  3. Amazing! Just look at that! 16 million years of evolution happening over the course of just a few hours!
    I'm having a good guffaw at the expense of fleabiters everywhere right about now. 🙂

  4. I don’t know what is scarier, the music as an entire house drifts along on top of a wave of liquified clay, or the construction dude in the short shorts. Isn’t it kinda hard to move around in jean shorts that tight?? Gotta love the 70s!

  5. Wow didn't expect this to be interesting. Thought I was watching netflix or something. Thanks YT algorithm, you win this round.

  6. Excellent. That's how a documentary should be. No flashy graphics, no endless repetition, no dramatic staging — no dumbing-down, in other words. The Discovery Channel has a lot to answer for.

  7. "How's the editing coming?"
    "Oh, it's going together really well. We have some great footage!"
    "Good, good. What are we going to score it with, do you think?"
    "Well, I know a guy that used to do music for cheesy black and white monster movies…"
    "Perfect! Make it happen!"

  8. Norway… Supposed to be so RICH! You see this machinery in the video? Yeah, that's still being used today, and is considered "modern" technology. South-west of this exact road is being worked on right now, with the exact same equipment as seen in this video. Volumes are the biggest/only difference.

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