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On a damaging earthquake-induced landslide in the Algerian Alps: the March 20, 2006 Laâlam landslide (Babors chain, northeast Algeria), triggered by the Kherrata earthquake (Mw = 5.3)

Research paper by Mehdi A. Guemache, Djamel Machane, Hamoud Beldjoudi, Sofiane Gharbi, Leila Djadia, Sihem Benahmed, Hayet Ymmel

Indexed on: 23 Oct '09Published on: 23 Oct '09Published in: Natural hazards (Dordrecht, Netherlands)



Abstract

On March 20, 2006, an earthquake (Mw = 5.3; SED) struck the mountainous region of the Babors chain (Wilaya of Bejaia, northeast Algeria). The seismic epicenter was located near the Kherrata village. This earthquake was felt on a large area of the northeastern part of Algeria. It reached an intensity of VII (EMS scale) at the Laâlam village, situated at about 20 km northeast of Kherrata. Here, many old and recent houses were damaged or collapsed totally, four people died and 68 were injured. Field investigations revealed that these casualties were caused by a landslide triggered by the earthquake. Many fissures were visible on ground throughout the site. They were generated by both sliding and settling phenomena. The Laâlam site is prone to landslide, as revealed by some evidences on old instabilities. This is due to two main factors: local geomorphology and geology. These factors intervene synchronously for reducing the slope instability at the Laâlam village. The March 20, 2006 Kherrata earthquake was the trigger that released the Laâlam landslide.

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