Wednesday, April 7, 2010



The project I am developing while in Norway deals with the socio-economic consequences of landslides.  Most of my work, up until now, has focused on wind hazards, tornadoes and hurricanes.  Before my arrival in Norway, Uganda suffered serious damage and fatalities from a landslide and just yesterday 95 souls were lost in the mudslides that occurred in Brazil.

In the US, the US Geological Survey estimates that in an average year 1 to 2 billion dollars worth of damage are attributed to landslides and over 25 lives are lost.  This is damage and casualty totals similar to tornadoes, yet landslides do not receive the same amount of attention in the media.  My project will merge data on landslides and some of the precipitating events such as thunderstorms and wildfires with demographic data to attempt to create a damage profile of this hazard.  The data on landslides has been obtained from a hazard database maintained by the University of South Carolina called SHELDUS1.  My thanks to Susan Cutter and her colleagues in compiling this data for researchers to use.

Before I left for Norway, I was interviewed for a short syndicated television segment on tornado warnings.  The first station to pick it up is WCPO in Kentucky.  Here is the link:

This week I will be presenting my research to the Economics Department at the University of Gothenburg, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

1Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute (2009). The Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database for the United States, Version 7.0 [Online Database]. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina. Available from "

Landslide Photographs are provided by the International Centre for Geohazards, a research centre of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute.

No comments:

Post a Comment