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Photos: Massive Landslide Near Santa Clarita Buckles Road By Several Feet

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A massive landslide near Santa Clarita is causing a roadway to dramatically buckle, forcing officials to close the stretch for "a long time."Officials received reports around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday that sections of the pavement of Vasquez Canyon Road had begun to rise. The road was closed shortly afterwards to allow Los Angeles County Public Works crews and engineers to examine the roadway, which by late afternoon had buckled several feet and caused at least four utility poles to lean over. "Instead of the road buckling down, it's buckling up," CHP officer Eric Preissman told The Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

"It's soil movement," said Public Works spokesman Steve Frasher . "And it appears the soil movement has not stopped. So the road will remain closed until further notice."

CHP officials told the Signal that Vasquez Canyon Road, between Lost Creek Road and Vasquez Way, would be closed "a long time."

The road connects Sierra Highway with Bouquet Canyon Road in Canyon Country, and the L.A. Times says officials are advising drivers to use Sierra Highway as an alternate route.

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An expert told the Signal that the event is technically called a "massive wasting event" where the soil becomes so saturated with water that the ground begins to move. "The contained water acts like a lubricant, allowing the layers above it to move along a curved surface," said Vincent Devlahovich, professor of geology at College of the Canyons. He said it was probably related to the storm that caused mudslides and flash floods in the same area last month.