This Day in Weather History - 29th April 1903

29th April saw one of Canadian history's most significant and deadly landslides.

This Day in Weather History - 29th April 1903
Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann / Unsplash

At approximately 4:10 a.m. local time, a colossal landslide, known as the Frank Slide, hurtled down Turtle Mountain's eastern slope collapsed, a steep, 7,800-foot mountain that overlooks the town of Frank. At least 70 people were killed when 82 million tons of rock crashed down the mountain, burying much of Frank.

There was so much force behind the slide that a dust cloud rose 3,000 feet into the air and could be heard 200 km away. The slip destroyed a significant area, including numerous homes, businesses, and the Canadian Pacific Railway line. The affected area covered around 3.5 square kilometres.

Rockfalls, unstable terrain, and the sheer size of the slide hampered rescue efforts. Many brave volunteers pulled survivors and bodies from the rubble despite these challenges.

Frank Slide's cause is still debated, with some theories pointing to mining activity. Another view is that seismic activity or a natural weakening of the mountain's structure played a role. Nevertheless, it's still one of the most significant landslides in Canadian history and a tragic reminder of nature's power.

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