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Fact Sheet: Recognize Landslide Warning Signs

Release date: 
October 17, 2017
Release Number: 
R2 DR 4339-PR FS 009
  • Changes in your landscape such as patterns of storm-water drainage on slopes (especially the places where runoff water converges) land movement, small slides, flows, or progressively leaning trees.
  • Doors or windows stick or jam for the first time.
  • New cracks appear in plaster, tile, brick, or foundations.
  • Outside walls, walks, or stairs begin pulling away from the building.
  • Slowly developing, widening cracks appear on the ground or on paved areas such as streets or driveways.
  • Underground utility lines break.
  • Bulging ground appears at the base of a slope.
  • Water breaks through the ground surface in new locations.
  • Fences, retaining walls, utility poles, or trees tilt or move.
  • A faint rumbling sound that increases in volume is noticeable as the landslide nears.
  • Unusual sounds, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together, might indicate moving debris.
  • Collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flow can be seen when driving (embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides).

After the Landslide

  • Go to a designated public shelter if you have been told to evacuate or you feel it is unsafe to remain in your home.
  • Stay away from the slide area. There may be danger of additional slides.
  • Listen to local radio or television stations for the latest emergency information.
  • Watch for flooding, which may occur after a landslide or debris flow.
  • Check for injured and trapped persons near the slide, without entering the direct slide area. Direct rescuers to their locations.
  • Check the building foundation, chimney, and surrounding land for damage. Damage to foundations, chimneys, or surrounding land may help you assess the safety of the area.

Visit https://www.ready.gov/landslides-debris-flow for more information about how to protect you and your family from landslides. 

The heavy rain and wind brought by Hurricane Maria caused a landslide that destroyed this home in the Municipality of Utuado.
Utuado, PR, September 30, 2017 - The heavy rain and wind brought by Hurricane Maria caused a landslide that destroyed this home in the Municipality of Utuado. Yuisa Rios/FEMA Download Original

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Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:59