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HKFP History: A brief visual history of the 1972 deadly Kotewall Road landslide

On June 18, 1972, a deadly landslide at Kotewall Road claimed 67 lives and injured 20. These photos, which depict the aftermath of the disaster, were taken with a Nikon F camera by a Flickr user, who was a teenager at the time living at Lyttelton Road – just one level below Kotewall Road. The negatives were recently recovered and scanned.

kotewall road landslide

First scene of the site the next morning. Photo: aetse via Flickr.

“Kotewall Road was blocked from the landslide that originated from above Po Shan Road. British Forces’ heavy equipment were brought in overnight from the Fortress Squadron, Royal Engineers over at Sham Shui Po barracks in Kowloon. The residential building at No.12 Kotewall Road collapsed as a result of the mud pushing down,” the photographer said.

kotewall road landslide

Damaged building. Photo: aetse via Flickr.

“This photo clearly shows the top few floors of the Robinson Road block being chopped off the corner.”

kotewall road landslide

British Forces and local firemen. Photo: aetse via Flickr.

This picture shows British Forces and local firemen inspecting the site of the accident.

kotewall road landslide

The view from HKU old halls. Photo: aetse via Flickr.

The landslide was one of many that plagued Hong Kong in 1972. A total of 148 people were killed in major landslides that year, and many apartment complexes and houses were wiped out.

kotewall road landslide

Photo: aetse via Flickr.

Heavy rainfall the year before brought on by Typhoon Rose resulted in waterlogged soil; a series of storms in 1972 then triggered the landslides.

kotewall road landslide

Photo: aetse via Flickr.

kotewall road landslide

Scene from upper Kotewall Road. Photo: aetse via Flickr.

kotewall road landslide

Soldiers from the Fortress Squadron, Royal Engineers at work. Photo: aetse via Flickr.

kotewall road landslide

Photo: aetse via Flickr.

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HKFP History: A brief visual history of the 1972 deadly Kotewall Road landslide