Landslides and avalanches

A landslide is a rapid down-slope movement of rocks or soil mass under the force of gravity, often occurring when water seeps through the earth on a loose surface of unstable material, such as clay. An avalanche is a type of landslide involving a large mass of snow, ice and rock debris, often initiated by overload caused due to a large volume of new snowfall. The effects include uprooted trees and degraded soil, buried buildings and settlements, damage to crops and infrastructure such as roads, and injury and death to humans and animals. We consider landslides to be natural but human activities like deforestation or mining can also induce landslides.

NIHERST Trinidad and Tobago – Disaster Awareness – Landslides

This film is part of a Disaster Awareness series produced in 2010 by the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with UNESCO, which aims to educate general audiences on the natural and man-made factors that contribute to hazardous phenomena, historical disasters that they have caused both within the Caribbean and worldwide, their impact on our lives and ways in which their disastrous consequences can be mitigated.  

Dr Jordy Hendrix: Understanding avalanche risk: A new paradigm 

Knowledge is powder. When it comes to avalanches, understanding the snowpack and terrain is crucial, but even with this knowledge, people die. Dr. Jordy Hendrikx is combining snow science and behavioural economics to better understand avalanche risk and errors in decision making.

Community-Based Landslide Early Warning System

R3ADY Asia-Pacific, in collaboration with University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), and University of Hawai’i’s Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), is working to develop an end-to-end framework that better links community-based and national disaster risk reduction efforts, using UGM’s community-based landslide risk assessment and landslide early warning system as the case study.

Now explore some written sources.

You might follow some of the links below or identify your own sources to extend your learning and help you to complete your worksheet:

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