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Landslide destroys cottages in Quebec's Laurentian region

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 6:27 PM -

A landslide has swept away as many as six buidlings on Lapierre Street in the Quebec municipality of Lac-des-Seize-Îles during the lunch hour Tuesday, according to MétéoMédia in Montreal.

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Four boathouses were also carried away by the slide, which officials are blaming on snow melt.

At least four people have been evacuated.

Nobody was in the houses at the time, and there have been no injury reports.

Still, officials are having a hard time conducting an investigation after the main access road to the scene collapsed.

About two hours prior, a smaller slide occurred on a roadway about 20 km away. 

According to MétéoMédia, this is the first time landslides have occurred in the area.

This phenomenon occurs "when the ground becomes saturated with snow melt," explains Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm.

"As soil absorbs more water it becomes heavier and softer, and that loosens it up. When the ground can't hold the water, additional water becomes runoff. Depending on the amount of runoff and the angle of the land, that can cause soil to become destabilized."

With files from the CBC

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