Video: Why was there a slide?

msnbc.com
updated 6/9/2005 2:21:19 PM ET 2005-06-09T18:21:19

Below lies an excerpt from MSNBC meteorologist Sean McLaughlin's report on the California Landslide, seen Wednesday on MSNBC Live. To see the video clip, click above.

When you look back over the last couple of months in that area, you basically come to the conclusion that this was a long time in coming. I definitely want to defer to the experts on the ground in Southern California, especially the geologists that are going to study this landslide. ... This is just a devastating, devastating landslide.

When you go back in time and look to the beginning of the year in the Laguna Beach area, this area, along with all of Southern California and most of the Golden State as well, has been really hit hard with a lot of rain.

Here's a look at the numbers, data-wise. For the Laguna Beach area since January 1, 2005:

What's puzzling is that over the last couple of days, there's been no rain in that area at all. But these homes (seen in the video) have been red-tagged, meaning uninhabitable, since February. That's a good indication that this land has been unstable for a very, very long time.

They've had record heat in that area, now they have drizzle and fog in the forecast for the next couple of days. That's what the weather data is showing us about this landslide.

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