7 November 2010

Landslide fatality statistics for October 2010 (updated with map)

Posted by Dave Petley

For those that are new to my blog, one aspect of my research is to maintain a database of landslides that kill people.  This has been running since September 2002 (i.e. for eight years so far).  So, each month I try to produce a brief report on the number landslide events that have entered the database, and the number of fatalities that resulted.  This should be treated as provisional at this stage as I have some further verification work to do.

So, for October 2010 I recorded a total of 32 landslide events that resulted in one or more deaths.  These landslides resulted in 273 fatalities.  Excluding seismically-induced events (most notably the October 2005 Kashmir earthquake), the average number of fatal landslides over the previous seven years was 35, resulting in an average of 394 fatalities, so 2010 should be seen as being below average.  The largest number was 2009, when I recorded 83 events, mostly due to landfalling tropical cyclones.  However, as the graph below shows, 2010 remains on track to be the year with the most fatality-inducing landslides recorded to date.  The graph shows cumulative totals, with 2009 (the previous record), 2003 (the lowest annual total) and the average displayed:

Updated: I have now managed to produce a map of the distribution of the landslides.  The basemap is a global didgital elevation model, the red dots are the 2009 fatality-inducing landslides (full year for reference), and the yellow dots are the fatality-inducing landslides recorded in 2010: