20 feet of mud and debris trapped 200 vehicles along a California highway.
During intense storms and rainfall
- Listen to the radio or watch TV for warnings about intense rainfall or for information and instructions from local officials.
- Be aware of any sudden increase or decrease in water level on a stream or creek that might indicate debris flow upstream. A trickle of flowing mud may precede a larger flow.
- Look for tilted trees, telephone poles, fences, or walls, and for new holes or bare spots on hillsides.
- Listen for rumbling sounds that might indicate an approaching landslide or mudflow.
- Be alert when driving. Roads may become blocked or closed due to collapsed pavement or debris.
- If landslide or debris flow danger is imminent, quickly move away from the path of the slide. Getting out of the path of a debris flow is your best protection. Move to the nearest high ground in a direction away from the path. If rocks and debris are approaching, run for the nearest shelter and take cover (if possible, under a desk, table, or other piece of sturdy furniture).
After a landslide or debris flow
- Stay away from the site. Flooding or additional slides may occur after a landslide or mudflow.
- Check for injured or trapped people near the affected area, if it is possible to do so without entering the path of the landslide or mudflow.
- Listen to the radio or TV for emergency information.
- Report broken utility lines to the appropriate authorities.
- Consult a geotechnical expert (a registered professional engineer with soils engineering expertise) for advice on reducing additional landslide problems and risks. Local authorities should be able to tell you how to contact a geotechnical expert.