A total of 96 homes have now been destroyed in the Lomas Del Rubi neighbourhood of Tijuana City in Baja California, Mexico, which began on 19 January 2018. The majority of the damage occurred on 3 February, when 89 homes were destroyed over a twelve hour period, as much of the hillslope collapsed. Despite the destructive nature of this landslide, the slow speed at which it has happened has meant that people have been able to evacuate their homes, with no casualties being reported to date but about 400 people being made homeless.
Former residents of the Lomas Del Rubi neighbourhood of Tijuana survey the remains of their homes following a slope collapse on 3 February 2018. Alejandro Tamayo/The San Diego Union Tribune.
The landslide has been blamed on construction work at the base of the hill, which has undermined the slope on which the properties are situated, leading to the collapse. However, it forms part of a wider problem in Tijuana, with about 30% of the city's population living on hillslopes comprised of poorly consolidated sediments that are highly prone to landslips. The Lomas Del Rubi neighbourhood was constructed illegally in the 1980s by people in need of housing that purchased plots from a local landowner then built their own properties. These were later recognised by the city, which had no realistic alternative plan for housing people, and connected to power and water supplies.
The approximate location of the Lomas Del Rubi neighbourhood. Google Maps.
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