Landslide injury: Injury from a landslide or mudslide. A landslide is when masses of rock, earth, or debris move down a slope. Debris flows, also known as mudslides, are a common type of fast-moving landslide that tends to flow in channels.
The health hazards associated with landslides and mudflows include:
- Rapidly moving water and debris that can lead to trauma;
- Broken electrical, water, gas, and sewage lines that can result in injury or illness; and
- Disrupted roadways and railways that can endanger motorists and disrupt transport and access to health care.
Landslides are caused by disturbances in the natural stability of a slope. They can accompany heavy rains or follow droughts, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions. Mudslides develop when water rapidly accumulates in the ground and results in a surge of water-saturated rock, earth, and debris. Mudslides usually start on steep slopes and can be activated by natural disasters. Areas where wildfires or human modification of the land have destroyed vegetation on slopes are particularly vulnerable to landslides during and after heavy rains.