16 September 2013

Fatal landslides in Asia – an updated map

Posted by Dave Petley

Regular readers will know that one of the activities that I undertake in my research is to map fatal landslides (i.e. landslides that kill people) across the world.  I have posted on this topic before, and key paper that I wrote on this dataset Petley (2012) is available online (and I have a commentary about this paper here).  Occasionally I get asked to produce maps of the data for various publications – I am more than willing to do this, but will post them online here so that everyone has access.  I am happy for anyone to use these maps in a publication (and I can produce bespoke maps for you) so long as you reference them to this blog and cite the paper in the reference list below.  So, recently I was asked to produce a map of landslides triggered by rainfall across South and Southeast Asia.  Remember, this map only shows landslides that caused one or more deaths.  Each dot is a single landslide; the dataset extends from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2011, and the background image is the etopo5 digital elevation model:

13_09 Asia landslide map 1


As I have noted before, the landslides are focused strongly in particular areas, most notably along the southern edge of the Himalayan Arc in northern India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh; in China, in Taiwan, the Philippines and southern Japan; and in Indonesia..  There are other, smaller hotspots, such as SE India.  Asia remains the global epicentre of landslide activity; if we wish to reduce the losses then this is where the focus of our actions will need to be located.

Let me know if you’d like a high-resolution version of this image, or if you’d like a map of a different region.


Petley, D.N. (2012). Global patterns of loss of life from landslides, Geology, 40, 927–930