Simple guidelines to minimise exposure to earthquake-triggered landslides

Milledge, David and Rosser, Nick and Oven, Katie and Dixit, Amod Mani and Dhungel, Ranjan and Basyal, Gopi Krishna and Adhikari, Sujan Raj and Densmore, Alexander (2018) Simple guidelines to minimise exposure to earthquake-triggered landslides. Earthquake Without Frontiers - Briefing note.

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Abstract

Reducing landslide risk in many mountainous regions is most effectively achieved by reducing exposure to landslides, because landslides cannot be predicted or stopped and engineering solutions are generally impractical or impossible. Because landslide hazard is very site-specific, available hazard maps may not be detailed enough, or contain appropriate and up-to- date information, to inform decision-making. We use our experience of studying the characteristics of landslides in recent large earthquakes to describe three simple guidelines that can be used to minimise exposure to future earthquake-triggered landslide hazard. The most effective measure is to choose a location that minimises the angle to the skyline, and to keep that angle below 25° if at all possible. It is also important to avoid steep channels (those with slopes of >15°), especially if there are many steep hillsides upstream. Finally, the slope of the ground at your location should always be minimised. These guidelines do not specify where landslides will occur, but can be used to distinguish between areas which are more or less likely to be affected by landslides in a large earthquake. They can be used to reduce risk before an earthquake occurs by helping to inform decisions on where to situate key infrastructure, such as schools or health posts. They can be used to inform decisions about the locations of houses, markets, or other areas where people are likely to spend considerable periods of time, or for deciding on appropriate types of land use. The guidelines can also be used in disaster preparedness and response planning, by identifying suitable evacuation routes and open spaces for use as evacuation sites or emergency shelters. We provide some brief guidance on what to do immediately after an earthquake in order to minimise exposure to landslides, and discuss the relevance of these guidelines for protecting against rainfall-triggered landslides which may occur more frequently.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NILAREP
Subjects: 99 - Other
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
99 - Other
Journal or Publication Title: Earthquake Without Frontiers - Briefing note
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 10:25
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2018 10:26
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4298

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