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Mountain Moving.

HAVOC CAUSED BY LANDSLIDE IN WALES. A landslide of an alarming nature has I caused a sensation m Monmouthshire, though the county is by no means a stranger ti> such episodes. The present landslip has occurred at Tredegar, near what are known as " Powells Old Pits," the property of the Powell-Dnffryn Colliery Co., doing serious damaga to the Brecon and Merthyr railway, which runs through the surface works of tho collieries, aud the colliery buildings themselves. The " slip," which occurred just above the main road to Abertysswg and Tredegar, is practifcally a repetition of one which occurred m 1900, when a large amount of the mountain over the roadway came down, but with Htttle damage other than to the highway, which was then blocked. A few day 3 ago large areas of rock and debris, as if sliced out of the mountain, gave way, and came dowu from time to time with teirißc sound, until thousands of tons had been displaced, leaving a chasm of about 400 square yards, the top edge of which iB some "200 yards from the top of the mountain. The debris piled itself over 30Ct high on the main road, and carried the iron pipe fence 40 yards down the opposite land, amongst the general confusion of trees, shrub 3, turf, and boulders from the roadway down to the colliorios, a decline of about 100 yards Fortunately, the force of the fall had spent itself before it reached the colliery structures, but so great was tho "squeeze" occasioned that retaining walls we;e bulged out, buildings were cracked, and the Brecon and Merthyr railway track assumad a zig-zag appearance for several hundred yards, and m one part that of a switchback, so great wa3 the pressure from above. Work at the colliery has, of course, been abandoned, and no indication can ba given as to when work will be resumed there, some 1200 men being affected. All traffic north of New Tredegar will be suspended for some time, and unless some arrangement can be made whereby the traffic from Tredegar Company's Abertysswg pit (No. 1 Maclaren) and No. 2 Maclaren pit which is at Ehymney, may be diverted, via Ehymney to the Ehymney railway, some 600 workmen there will m all probability have to cease work, pending the reopening of tho line. All vehicular traffic between New Tredegar and " Old " Tredegar has now to be effected via Ehymaey and Pontlottyn, and the road will not be cleared for months. One of the first tasks on men sent to oleanup the wreckage was to search for a magazine of explosives and detonatoi'3 which had slipped away with the side of the hill. This dangerous store was located amid the boulders, and its contents taken to a place of safety. Tiaces of the high road from Tredegar to New Tredegar were found 50ft lower down on the faco of the mountain than where the road used to run. All around were enormous crovices that gaped open m that field of boulders, from which trees, telegraph posts, and fences protruded m JIOST FANTASTICAL RUIN. So far as the stretch of ruin on the mountain side at the back of the colliery is concerned, it was about what might have been expected as the result of an ordinary landslide. A break m the steepness of the mountain caused somewhat different conditions to prevail on the artificially-pro-tected ledge upon which the colliery buildings stand and along which the railway runs. It was not bo st6ep as higher up, where the surface slipped down m an avalanche. But an enormous pressure was exerted from beneath, and this lifted buildings and railway lines bodily for a distance of some feet. Solid stout walls were crushed inch by inch across the back yards to the dwelling houses, and then through tho walls into the rooms. Water casks m these yards were flattened like cardboard when the wall and house met. The same awful pressure from beneath lifted the row of stores aud offices of the colliery company, «nd tilted them \mtil they cracired and the fronts fell out. These buildings were connected by girders with other buildings, and it was only by hastily cutting them that the pressure was relieved and the buildings saved. Toppling houses show the way the earth was lifted. A twisted, distorted, railway shows how this lifting process has been accompanied by a lateral motion, because the rails are diverted many feet at the spot where the line runs through the Powell-Duffryn collierieß. Thd ledge on which the mine-head works are perohed is about 200f fc above the torrent that runs along the bottom of the valley. {If the underground pressure were to continue to carry the buildings along m the direction m which they started sliding it must inevitably end m their falling down tho steep slope that forms the foot of the mountain. It is stated, though, that the uew No. 3 pit is sinking, and that the winding gear, which is the finest m the country, is damaged. A thousand miners are idle as a result of the disaster. No. 2 shatt, having been displaced, will be abandoned, and a new shaft, No. 3, will be U3ed for the purpose of upcast traffic aB soon as work can with safety be resumed, A startling experience of a man who journeyed from Tredegar at a late hour m the night when the movement began is reported. The district counci I's roadmen on duty at the Tredegar end of the " slip" endeavoured to prevail upon him to take another course homeward. He, however, insisted on going the usual road. At, this time there were huge falls of earth, and it was feared that some harm had befallen the man. He was, however, seen after midaighfc, besmeared with blood and hatless, wending his way home to Cwmsifiog m an exhausted state.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19050515.2.30

Bibliographic details

Mountain Moving., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6570, 15 May 1905

Word Count
983

Mountain Moving. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6570, 15 May 1905

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