Mitigating Landslides

Landslides have the potential for causing death or injury to millions of people and billions of dollars in damage to property world wide. There is very little effor to mitigating this natural hazard in the United States (1) despite the fact that landslides occur in all 50 states. Only one region - Los Angeles, California - has state and local regulations regarding landslides and public use. In the Los Angeles area there has been a 92-97% reduction in landslide losses for new construction (1)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identifies "hard" and "soft" methods to mitgate landslides.

All landslide mitigation plans should include monitoring, public education, and emergency evacuation programs.


Re-activation of a portion of a landslide during grading operations. The grading plans called for the total removal of the slide and the rebuilding of the slope with artificial fill. Photo by Sonjia Leyva © 1998
This photo shows the same landslide as the photo above, but was taken a few months later. Additional fill had been placed in the canyon below the slide. A second slide developed as the fill was being placed. Photo by Sonjia Leyva © 1998


Landslide Mitigation Efforts, NOAA.