College and Committee of Geologists deny Amador about “unpredictability” of landslides |

Rescue work by relief corps in the Cambronero emergency. Courtesy Red Cross/Fire Department

( The College of Geologists of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Committee for Geological and Environmental Engineering (COCIGA) denied the statements made by the Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Luis Amador, on the predictability of landslides such as the one that caused a bus to fall off a cliff and left 9 dead in Cambronero, route 1.

Amador evaded his responsibility after the opening of the highway, by assuring, on September 19 at a press conference, that this type of landslides are unpredictable.

“You can take a whole group of geologists to assess the entire highway, and, However, tomorrow there may be a situation that cannot be visualized…”said the hierarch.

However, experts in this field assure that the analysis of the threat of the instability of slopes and slopes is a widely studied discipline that requires an adequate assessment of the natural susceptibility of the terrain and of the triggering processes that cause it, such as earthquakes, intense rains or human activity.

According to what they say, the quantitative assessment is carried out through multidisciplinary and specialized studies of a geotechnical, geomorphological, geological, topographical and hydrometeorological nature and therefore does not correspond to the result of a simple visit.

From the school and the committee they affirm that the procedures incorporate satellite and aerial interpretation (aviation, drones), geodesic, laboratory tests, field studies and ‘in situ’ instrumentation, from which, Measurements are made, both indirect and direct, which are then used in making calculations and projections.

“From the preliminary studies, the correct application of these criteria for the design, construction and maintenance of the cuts and fills of a highway, have the purpose of obtaining a safety factor that reduces the probability of a rupture and frequently that works are added. and complementary elements that prevent deterioration.

This is how unfortunate losses of human, economic and environmental lives are avoided, apart from the constant obstruction of vehicular traffic and the repairs that are almost part of our culture and national idiosyncrasy. It is time to put an end to these situations”, they pointed out.

Rescue work by relief corps in the Cambronero emergency. Courtesy Red Cross/Fire Department

According to Amador, the country does not have “Advanced cutting-edge technology that allows us to go and do a constant on-site monitoring that allows us to see mass movements, geologists in this country go and make a visual assessment.”

For specialists, these statements are also “imprecise”because professionals, specialized in geotechnics, have proposed, on numerous occasions, the establishment of observation, surveillance, alert, warning, alarm and response systems for various landslides (probable and active), not only on roads, but also in populated areas and large and small infrastructure works.

Geologists say that when these recommendations have been adopted, the results are evident in terms of safety, economy, protection and sustainability.

“In this way we make a respectful, but sincere call to the national authorities, so that they inform themselves in the College of Geologists of Costa Rica and the COCIGA about this and others of priority interest for our country.

We are convinced that these unfortunate events that mourn and impoverish our country, can be mitigated through the application of scientific and technical knowledge that we have”, they assert.

College and Committee of Geologists deny Amador about “unpredictability” of landslides |