During a landslide, rock, earth, or debris moves down a slope. They can be small or large, slow or rapid and there are many types with several causes – all are extremely dangerous.


  • Landslides or Rock Falls – Following an intense or prolonged rainfall, rapid snow melt or changes in ground-water levels, combined with vibrations from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or construction activity.  
    Mud and Debris Flows  – Rock, earth, and debris become saturated with water, turning into a rapidly flowing river of mud or “slurry” known as a Lahar.
    Lahars  – A rapidly flowing river of mud or slurry – they can travel several kilometres from their source, growing in size as they pick up trees, boulders, cars, and other materials. 
    Slumping Slides  – The undercutting of slopes by streams, erosion, wave action, glaciers, or construction. 
    Debris Torrents  – The accumulation of debris, mud, and logs in a channel which forms a temporary dam – flooding occurs upstream as the water backs up behind the temporary dam. The temporary dam bursts, creating a flash flood. 
    Snow Avalanches  – See avalanche

Avoiding A Landslide 

Consider the following:

  • Choose campsites away from creeks, ravines and other unstable slopes,
  • Listen to a weather radio for warnings of intense rainfall,
  • If you are in areas susceptible to landslides and debris flows, consider leaving,
  • Stay alert and awake – many fatalities occur when campers are sleeping. 
  • Listen for any unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or grinding boulders, 
  • Be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow, 
  • Water turning muddy, 
  • If you hear a roaring sound uphill – this may be a wave of debris moving rapidly toward you! 

It’s Here!

Get out of the path of a landslide or debris flow. Run… save yourself not your belongings. If escape is not possible, curl into a tight ball, protect your head, and hope for the best. 


After The Slide  

Landslides can create large waves on lakes, or tsunamis in coastal regions. There may be a danger of additional slides. Flooding may occur after a landslide or debris flow.



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