In 1962 two US scientists discovered Peru’s highest mountain was in danger of collapsing. When this was made public, the government threatened the scientists and banned civilians from speaking of it. In 1970, during a major earthquake, it collapsed on the town of Yangoy killing 20,000.

Yungay, Peru

Cemetery in Yungay

The remnants of Yungay’s cathedral after the landslide

On May 31, 1970, the Ancash earthquake caused a substantial part of the north side of a mountain, Nevado Huascarán, to collapse and an unstable mass of glacial ice about 800 meters across at the top of Nevado Huascarán to fall. This caused a debris avalanche, burying the town of Yungay and killing 20,000 people. More than 50 million cubic meters of debris slid approximately 15 kilometers downhill at an angle of about 14 degrees. Speeds between 340 mph to 620 mph were achieved. Most of the survivors were in the cemetery and stadium at the time of the earthquake, as these zones were the highest in town.

The Peruvian government has forbidden excavation i… Continue Reading