See below; this is my reconstruction of the Santa Clarita landslide.
Typically large, slow-moving rotational slump- (meaning that the movement is rotational, with the top part moving down and in and the bottom (or toe) moving down and out) earthflows (meaning that the thing is moving slowly, like a big earth glacier) develop large toe-bulges at the bottom. Somewhere in my files I have a picture of an old mine access road that has been buckled up and rotated vertical by the toe pushing up and out at the bottom of a large earthflow; the thing stood straight up for about 8 or 10 feet. That'd have been a real sonofabitch to drive up with a stick shift.
I had a long discussion about this thing with my friend GeoChick, and I told her my problem was that all the articles had the scientific intelligence of a mophead. "Guh - landslide" was about the level of sophistication. Seriously; I couldn't tell either from the pictures or the text enough about the topography or the geology to even guess what was happening.
But long-time commentor Ael finally sent me a link to an article that showed not just the big honkin' road uplift but the surroundings, and it looks pretty clear to me that this thing is at or near the base of a slope that is failing, and it's pushing this road up because the road is at or near where the bottom of the slide plane "toes out" of the ground surface...
And this is a simple landslide. Given that, can you imagine how hard it is for most reporters to understand something as complex as climate change?