Section III White Devil – Peruvian avalanche


on the East Bank of the Pacific Ocean, there is a picturesque country with a coastline of more than 3080 kilometers and mountains accounting for 50% of the total area of the country. The famous Andes mountains run through the whole territory. Vaskaran peak is the highest peak of the Andes, with an altitude of 6768 meters. The mountain is steep, covered with snow all year round, and the top of the mountain is covered with glaciers. Looking around, the towering vaskalan mountain is covered with snow, shining brightly in the sunshine, and a silver world. At the foot of vaskaran mountain, there is a flat and open pasturing land. There are many small villages here. The villagers have lived near the mountain for generations and lived and worked comfortably here. However, in 1970, a deafening noise broke the tranquility here.

the history of the disaster in waskalan National Park

the snowstorm

on May 31, 1970, although the waskalan mountain was still cold and windy, it was sunny. For people living at the foot of the mountain, this should have been a very ordinary day. They worked hard in the fields during the day, talking and laughing. They came home at night and went to sleep early after dinner.

at 8:23 p.m., a thunderous sound from a distance awakened the sleeping people, and the dark night was no longer calm from this moment on. Then the earth trembled violently. The people in the haze didn’t understand what happened at all. They were stunned by all the confusion. The house began to shake violently, and things fell all over the ground. The people who reluctantly settled in the town began to shout: “earthquake! Earthquake!” People jumped out of bed in a hurry. Ignoring to pick up their clothes, they ran frantically to the door. The reaction was slower and was severely hit and pressed by the collapsed random bricks and gravel. It was cold and windy outside, people curled up and prayed, and the sound of crying mixed with the sound of house collapse.

the snow stream

suddenly, another huge sound came from the direction of vaskalan mountain, getting closer and closer. After a while, the mountains collapsed, the snowflakes flew, and the wind came. A large-scale avalanche triggered by the earthquake broke out.

the earthquake cracked the rocks on the mountain and shattered the hard ice and snow at the same time. The snowflake we usually call “white spirit” is no longer gentle. At this time, it is more like a white devil, carrying broken ice and gravel, clinging to the cliffs, pouring down like a huge waterfall, and collapsing almost 900 meters at the speed of free fall. The snow and ice accumulated under the vaskaran mountain was impacted and smashed. Under the action of huge air waves, snow and dust rise into the air, rising to a height of 100 meters, blocking the sky and the sun, just like a snowstorm flying all over the sky.

with the continuous vibration of the mountain, the snow and gravel on the top of the mountain continue to fall. With the continuous increase of snow and ice on the top of the mountain, the snow and ice under the mountain also accumulate thicker and thicker. Slowly, the snow began to overflow outward and then flow downward. Like a chain reaction, more and more snow and ice converged here, The flow speed is also faster and faster, and a strong ice and snow flow has gradually formed. The spekds dragon roars like the snow and ice, and the spekds dragon is the most powerful one in front of it. It swept around everything, rolled up the boulders blocking the road and threw them into the sky. Along the way, it smashed the rocks, broke the trees or the waist, or uprooted them. The speed of this ice dragon is shocking. A high-speed ice and snow flow, with strong air waves, crossed a ridge under the vaskalan mountain and swept away towards the valley. When the ice dragon rushed to the end of the ice tongue along the Valley Road, the amount of snow collapsed has reached 30 million cubic meters, including millions of cubic meters of rock debris. After being swept away by the ice and snow flow, there are only truncated rivers, blocked roads, destroyed towns and flooded farmland. The hillside lost all kinds of vegetation, was stripped bare, the stumps and roots were scattered, and everywhere was a chaotic and desolate scene.

Peru avalanche

people who have just suffered from the earthquake are busy rescuing their relatives. At this time, with a strong impact of the wind wave hit head-on, toppling people to the ground. Then, a huge snow dragon roared in. In an instant, countless people were buried under the snow. They didn’t even have time to shout or struggle. The fast-moving ice and Snow Dragon formed a strong air pressure, causing many people to suffocate and die.

all the buildings in rongjiayi city have been damaged by the earthquake, leaving only some broken walls. With the fierce attack of the ice and snow dragon, all the light objects, doors and windows and residual trees on the “ruins” were removed, the main beam of the house was also lifted into the river valley, the broken roof was thrown away, and the remaining broken walls were crushed by ice and snow.

the raging ice and snow flow finally stagnated in a nearby river valley. A large amount of ice and snow blocked a river, and the river was filled with water, forming a “temporary reservoir”. Soon after, the ice and snow melted, the ice and snow dam collapsed, and a large amount of water surged down, resulting in another powerful flood, and many nearby farmland were flooded.

in this huge avalanche, the ice and snow flow swept 14.5 kilometers in only 4 minutes. The earthquake not only induced a large avalanche, but also caused a large-scale debris flow. According to the post disaster statistics of relevant departments, in this series of disasters, about 52000 people died, countless houses collapsed, and a large number of forests and farmland were destroyed, the affected area reached 23 square kilometers, and the economic losses reached more than 500 million US dollars.

know the true face of the devil

avalanches are a common serious natural disaster in all alpine mountain areas. In all alpine snow areas, avalanches can cause a devastating disaster. They are usually divided into natural avalanches and man-made avalanches.

natural avalanches are mainly caused by strong wind, snowstorm, storm, exposure, severe cold, frost, earthquake, etc. The man-made avalanche is mainly caused by the lack of experience of climbers, entering the avalanche area by mistake, or the instability of the snow above when climbers cross the section of the snow layer.

on the snow mountain, gravity has been pulling down the snow, while the cohesion of the snow is trying to keep the snow in place. When the role of these two forces reaches a balance, even a little external force may break this fragile balance and trigger a catastrophic avalanche. The destructive force of




avalanche is mainly related to its speed. The impact force of snow and ice roaring down from the high mountains is very large. It can make the surface of the hit object bear 40 ~ 50 tons of force per square meter. Even the lush forest will be destroyed in an instant in case of a high-speed avalanche.

another reason for the damage caused by avalanches is the air wave in front of the ice and snow. In the process of high-speed movement, the collapsed ice and snow body can cause violent air oscillation, thus forming a strong air wave in front. This kind of air wave is like the shock wave of atomic bomb explosion, and its destructive power is amazing. The rushing air wave will cause a strong change in the surrounding air pressure, making the air thin. When people encounter it, they often die of suffocation.

avalanche self rescue

avalanches usually happen very quickly, so we must respond quickly in the face of avalanches and take the following emergency measures:

when avalanches occur, remember not to run back or down the mountain, because ice and snow also fall down the mountain, This is likely to be buried by snow. The right thing to do is to quickly escape horizontally. In case of being caught in the snow flow, you should insert the ski stick into the snow and hold it tightly, or pull the trees and rocks on the mountain to avoid further sliding. If we are caught up by the falling snow flow, when we are just covered with snow, we should first try to climb out of the snow layer. If we are deeply covered by snow, we should immediately bend down and bow our backs, protect our heads, and quickly clear a passage in front of us for our normal breathing, and then wait for rescue. In addition, if the snow stream attacking us is too fierce, we should immediately shut up and hold our breath, so as not to be blocked by the rapid ice and snow, resulting in instant suffocation, and then try to escape as soon as possible after the snow stream passes.


most of the avalanches we may see at ordinary times are caused by human factors, so climbers or alpine skiers must pay attention to the following principles:

1. In the snow area of the mountain, remember not to shout or sing loudly, To avoid avalanches caused by the vibration of sound waves.

2. After snowfall, it’s best not to climb the slope and climb the snow mountain immediately. Because the newly fallen snow is relatively loose and has poor cohesion. It breaks when touched. It not only has no good foothold, but also is easy to trigger an avalanche.

3. Don’t climb snow mountains when the temperature rises sharply. Because the snow is likely to melt at this time, making the snow very unstable and prone to avalanches.

4. When walking in the snow, the steps should be light and steady, and try to follow the footprints of the people in front.

5. When climbing on the snow, try not to cross the slope, but go straight to the top of the mountain. Because when crossing the slope, it is easy to step on the snow layer and induce avalanches.

6. If there are many people climbing snow mountains, the distance between each person should be appropriately expanded. This can expand the stress area and reduce the pressure.

7. In order for rescuers to find the victims with magnetic detectors, climbers must carry some kind of iron.

8. Everyone should try to carry an iconic thing to find each other after the avalanche.