Home Archived April 13, 2016
(i)

U.S. Geological Survey

Maps, Imagery, and Publications Hazards Newsroom Education Jobs Partnerships Library About USGS Social Media

USGS Newsroom

USGS Newsroom  
 

Media Advisory: USGS Landslide Advisory
Released: 12/30/2004

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
USGS National Landslide Information Center 1-click interview
Phone: 1-800-654-4966



Due to recent heavy rainfall in southern California and the triggering of several debris flows in the mountain ranges west of Los Angeles, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is issuing a landslide advisory for southern California. With the previous rainfall from the recent storms, the slopes in the southern California area are now closer to the conditions conducive to the inception of landslides. With renewed rainfall from the coming storms, the subsurface moisture conditions will become closer to saturation and may trigger additional debris flows and other types of landslides. For more specific information on local rainfall conditions in the southern California area visit the NOAA website at: http://www.noaa.gov.

GUIDELINES FOR LANDSLIDE RESPONSE:

Prior to Intense Storms:

  1. Become familiar with the land around you. Learn whether debris flows have occurred in your area by contacting local officials, State geological surveys, or departments of natural resources, and university departments of geology. Slopes where debris flows have occurred in the past are likely to experience them in the future.
  2. Support your local government in efforts to develop and enforce land-use and building ordinances that regulate construction in areas susceptible to landslides and debris flows. Buildings should be located away from steep slopes, streams and rivers, intermittent-stream channels, and the mouths of mountain channels.
  3. Watch the patterns of storm-water drainage on slopes near your home, and note especially the places where runoff water converges, increasing flow over soil-covered slopes. Watch the hillsides around your home for any signs of land movement, such as small landslides or debris flows or progressively tilting trees.
  4. Contact your local authorities to learn about the emergency-response and evacuation plans for your area and develop your own emergency plans for your family and business.

During Intense Storms:

  1. Stay alert and stay awake! Many debris-flow fatalities occur when people are sleeping. Listen to a radio for warnings of intense rainfall. Be aware that intense short bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous, especially after longer periods of heavy rainfall and damp weather.
  2. If you are in areas susceptible to landslides and debris flows, consider leaving if it is safe to do so. Remember that driving during an intense storm is hazardous.
  3. Listen for any unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together. A trickle of flowing or falling mud or debris may precede larger flows. If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and for a change from clear to muddy water. Such changes may indicate debris flow activity upstream, so be prepared to move quickly. Don’t delay! Save yourself, not your belongings.
  4. Be especially alert when driving. Embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides. Watch the road for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flows.

What to do if you suspect imminent landslide danger:

  1. Evacuate.
  2. Contact your local fire, police, or public works department.
  3. Inform affected neighbors

For more information, please call the U.S. Geological Survey National Landslide Information Center at: 1-800-654-4966. On the web: http://landslides.usgs.gov The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.


The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Subscribe to receive the latest USGS news releases.

**** www.usgs.gov ****

Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.


 

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=529
Page Contact Information: Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: 12/30/2004