Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
La Conchita, California
The entire town consists of two streets parallel to the shore, with ten short perpendicular streets, ending at the base of Rincon Mountain. Because this tiny enclave is isolated from the larger towns nearby it has evolved into an eclectic tight knit community of artists, beatniks and outdoor enthusiasts. Despite the dangers of the hillside looming over the town, it is highly sought after because of its accessibility to fine surfing beaches, a Mediterranean-like climate, and spectacular views into the Santa Barbara Channel.
La Conchita is at 119.448 degrees west longitude and 34.364 degrees north latitude, on a southwesterly-facing portion of the coast. The town is called "Punta" on USGS topographic maps. It is between Rincon Point to the northwest and Mussell Shoals to the southeast; 659 m (2161 foot) Rincon Mountain rises sharply to the northeast. The nearest incorporated town is Carpinteria, about five miles to the northwest.
During the occasional major rainstorms which affect Southern California, especially during El Nino years (see Pineapple Express), the section of Highway 101 between La Conchita and Ventura is often closed by mudslides and rockfalls.
Sandwiched between a steep, unstable hillside, and the Pacific Ocean, La Conchita has been the site of major mudslides:
- On March 4, 1995 at 2:03pm, a mudslide buried or damaged seven homes, injuring no one. After the main failure, the weather forecast predicted more rain for the following week.
- On March 10, 1995, a debris flow occurred in the canyon west of the March 4th slide, damaging four or five more residences and a banana plantation.
- On January 10, 2005 at 1:20pm, a massive mudslide buried four blocks of the town in over 30 feet of earth. Ten people were killed by the slide and 14 were injured. Of the 166 homes in the community, fifteen were destroyed and 16 more were tagged by the county as uninhabitable.
Mudslide insurance is not offered in California, and La Conchita's location makes it impossible to get a mortgage for a house there.
- Town location on Topozone
- La Conchita Residents Stay Despite Known Risks, a National Public Radio story from January 2005
- January 2005 California Landslide, a USGS FAQ, including a link to a 1995 landslide photograph
- Aerial photo from California Coastal Records Project
- Wide view aerial photo by Doc Searls showing evidence of previous landslides
- La Conchita, from photographer/journalist Debbie Stock
- Victims of La Conchita mudslide
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details