A landslide  is a down slope transport of soil and rock resulting from naturally occurring vibrations, changes in direct water content, removal of lateral support, loading with weight, and weathering or human manipulation of water course and slope composition.

Landslides vary in types of movement (falls, slides, topples, lateral spread, flows) and may be secondary effects of heavy storms, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Landslides are more widespread than any other geological event.

Effects of landslides include:

  • Damage to anything on top of or in the path of a landslide
  • Blocked roads, lines of communication or waterways
  • Loss of productivity of agricultural or forest lands
  • Flooding
  • Reduced property values, destruction of buildings
  • Injuries/Deaths

Factors Contributing to Vulnerability

  • Settlements built on steep slopes, softer soils and cliff tops
  • Settlements built at the base of steep slopes, on mouths of streams from mountain valleys
  • Roads, communication lines in mountain areas
  • Buildings with weak foundations
  • Buried pipelines and brittle pipes
  • Lack of understanding of landslide hazard

Before a Landslide

  • Listen and adhere to official instructions and advisories
  • Periods of heavy rain, an earthquake, brush fire among other similar events on and around steep slopes may trigger landslides, mudslides and fallen rocks. Exercise vigilance once these elements are present.
  • Scan environment, if you are vulnerable seek safer ground if those pre-conditions exist.
  • Bring to the attention and or raise the alarm to the relevant authorities if landslide, mudslide and or rock fall appears eminent.
  • Do not attempt to enter and or cross suspect area.

During a Landslide

  • Listen and obey official instructions and advisories
  • Stay away from affected area and other vulnerable areas
  • Seek safe ground by evacuation routes
  • Do not attempt to enter, cross and or clear debris during the slide
  • Alert relevant authorities of the event

After a Landslide

  • Listen and obey all official instructions and advisories
  • Do not attempt to enter, cross or clear debris from the site
  • Wait on the official all clear before attempting any action
  • Assist where possible with information, eye witness accounts and description of area for the purposes of search and rescue

If possible, assist in providing for those who were affected. Typical needs include:

  • Search and rescue (use of earth removal equipment)
  • Medical assistance
  • Emergency shelter for homeless

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