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David Montgomery, a geology professor at the University of Washington, talks about what caused the deadly weekend landslide ...
that killed at least two dozen people and left scores missing. (March 28)
Tags:ap,AP News,Associated Press,David Montgomery,university of washington
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SHOTLIST:POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLYSnohomish County, Washington - March 27, 20141. Wide shot of hill where mud slide occurred 2. Medium shot of mud slide slope3. Wide pan of hill where mud slide occurred AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLYSeattle, Washington - March 27, 20144. SOUNDBITE (English) David Montgomery, a geology professor at the University of Washington:"I seriously doubt that anybody living in that valley was fully aware of the potential for a landslide of this magnitude to spread that rapidly across the whole valley bottom. To most people, that is an unimaginable catastrophe. To geologists, you can read the clues and the topography and the terrain to try to piece together whether something like that could happen, but not even a geologist could tell you when that will happen or what really the actual hazard was."POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLYSnohomish County, Washington - March 27, 20145. Various of mud slide debris6. Various of workers in debris covered valleyAP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLYSeattle, Washington - March 27, 20147. Mid of Montgomery explaining the mud slide on a digital map8. SOUNDBITE (English) David Montgomery, a geology professor at the University of Washington:"The slope that failed is a naturally unstable slope. It was made of very weak geologic materials, glacial-age sediments that were not very strong and it was on a very steep slope. It was a slope that the river had cut down into after the glaciers melted back to form the steep valley walls that you see along that valley today. So you had weak materials exposed on a high, steep slope, and we had an awful lot of rainfall this winter."POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLYSnohomish County, Washington - March 27, 20149. Various shots of workers in valleySTORYLINE:David Montgomery, a geology professor at the University of Washington, talks about what caused the deadly weekend landslide that killed at least two dozen people and left scores missing as rescuers continue to scour the debris for bodies. Montgomery says unusually heavy rainfall coupled with the unstable earthen slope was the underlying cause, while calling a 1999 report "prophetic" that predicted such an event could occur at some time in the same area. However, he also says that it would have been impossible to predict just when such a catastrophe would happen.