The landslide that occurred on April 22, 2021 approximately 8 kilometres upstream from the village of Kuujjuaraapik and Whapmagoostui spilled over 45 million cubic metres of debris into the Great Whale River. The landslide covers a span of 1.8 kilometres in length and 500 metres in width along the riverbank – the longest landslide ever recorded in Quebec.
Members of the communities of Kuujjuarapik and Whapmagoostui displayed impressive photos and videos of the stunning impact of the natural occurrence, which caused no damage to the nearby communities. Local leaders made their presentation while participating in a virtual meeting yesterday in order to update the situation. Local elder advisor, George Kawapit, advises the meeting “there is no need of immediate concern as long as the river is flowing and we continue to monitor the ice. This is due to very small snow fall in comparison to previous years.”
“The worst is over. The major part of the debris from the landslide has spilled into the river,” said Quebec Ministry of Transportation geologist and landslide expert Denis Demers during the meeting. “It may take months if not years for the river to return to its normal course.” Once government experts receive the topographic data taken from the site, they will arrive in Kuujjuaraapik next week to conduct a closer inspection of the massive landslide. The experts will monitor the soil erosion, the state of the riverbanks and the flow of the water downstream into the Hudson Bay.
According to experts, the height of the slope along the river embankment located next to the community is too low for soil erosion to create a major landslide that would cause significant material damage. In other words if a landslide would occur near the community, the topography is such that it is not a major risk to the residents.
Local leaders will create a safety buffer zone around the landslide to warn residents of both communities to the potential dangers in the area.
Further updates are expected after the experts complete their assessment of the soil and riverbanks near the site of the landslide.
Kativik Regional Government
Tel. 819-964-2961, ext. 2358
Information and Communications
Whapmagoostui First Nation
Tel: 819 929 3384 ex: 224