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Publication date: Oct. 26, 2005


Landslides frequently slip into the news, often as fallout from other disasters such as heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Sprawl and other human activities are also a cause of landslides, increasingly so as development moves into vulnerable areas.

To address these costly and occasionally fatal disasters, which are seldom covered by insurance, the US Geological Survey and American Planning Assn. have teamed up to publish a new book, Landslide Hazards and Planning (no charge for journalists - contact Roberta Rewers, 312-786-6395). It can help journalists dig into the problem ahead of a disaster, and better cover affected beats such as land planning, transportation, energy, forestry, fisheries, and tourism. Or it can provide background for analyzing what went wrong after the earth crumbles.

Landslides can occur in any state and territory, but they're most likely on rocky coasts, in the mountains of the West, Appalachia, and New England, and portions of the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi river valleys. Among urban areas notorious for landslide problems are Pittsburgh and Cincinnati (see USGS National Landslide overview map of the United States).

For more details and contacts in your state, see USGS Landslide Hazards web site and release on USGS/APA report, "Protecting Communities from Landslides."

Last revised January 22, 2013

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