Living in a Hazardous Environment

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The environment is a focal point for human existence. It becomes unsafe and inhabitable when we indulge in activities that are not Eco-friendly. As a result of continuous neglect of the environment pollution, desertification, soil erosion, famine and drought come up making human life unbearable (Smith & Petley, 2007). Besides human activity, the environment can become a hazardous place to be due to natural factors. Natural disasters like floods, landslides, hurricanes and tornadoes cannot be explained. There is a big hazard to the environment whenever natural calamities occur. Property destruction and massive loss of lives occurs following natural calamities. Smith and Petley (2007) in their book Environmental Hazards describe how land slides occur; mechanics involved, hazard and assess the risk.

Landslides are natural environmental hazards adversely affecting the environment and human life. Apart from having increased in the recent years, landslides cause loss of lives and property destruction. Given that developing countries lack financial stability, landslides have a negative impact on them as compared to developed ones. There is lack of governmental intervention to look into landslides and offer financial support on victims. Lack of strategies for future calamities are rarely available making the hazard worse. Recovery measures for those affected by landslides don’t exist making recovery impossible in some cases. We will attempt to look at land slides as environmental hazards, their effects and preventive measures.
Synthesis of 20 journal articles about the hazard

Causes of landslides

Karsli,F. Atasoy,M. Yalcin, A.& Reis, S. (2009). Effects of land-use changes on landslides in a     landslide-prone area (Ardesen, Rize, NE Turkey), Environmental Monitoring and   Assessment. Dordrecht: Sep 2009. Vol. 156, Iss. 1-4; pg. 241,


In their book Karsli, Atasoy, Yalcin, & Reis discuss the major causes of landslides as lithology, heavy rainfall, slope gradient and aspect, terrain roughness and vegetation cover. The book carries us through a research conducted in The North Eastern Turkey, Ardesen black region which has had increased number of landslides. They also explain how scientists use photogrammetric skills to detect and predetermine occurrence of a landslide. Geographical Information System (GIS) has also been explained as an applicable tool to detect landslides in the mountainous region of Turkey. This book is useful in addressing landslides occurrence in regions that are hilly and offering preventive measures. The authors have skillfully addressed crucial issues and specifically solve the hazard of landslides in NE Turkey to some extent.


Rautela, P. & Pande, R. (2005). Implications of ignoring the old disaster management plans:         Lessons learnt from the Amparav tragedy of 23 September 2004 in the Nainital district of            Uttaranchal (India). Disaster Prevention and Management. Bradford: 2005. Vol. 14, Iss.

The article by Rautela and Pande discusses how landslide has massive negative impacts on those who fall victim. It is an article that analyzes an Indian, Amparav case study recorded after the 2004 landslide. I find the article interesting because it reaches out to a specific group of people who have gone through the environmental hazard and aims to establish ways of dealing with a similar case in the future. It focuses on creating awareness of hazard prone regions so as to prepare those who face the risk of landslides later on. Documenting disaster solving strategies is proposed as one of the ways of dealing with future incidences.

Banker, P. (2011).Mudslide kills 3 girls, Lahore: Feb 13, 2011.

The severity of landslide and mudslide can be explained by the death rates reported annually following this hazard. The above article drew my attention as it sites how three young girls fro one family lost their lives as a result of a mudslide in Khapro tehsil of Mirpur Khas. This is just one of the many reported cases not to mention those that go unreported making the hazard a life threatening issue of concern.

Pokhrel, D.  Bhandari, S. & Viraraghavan, T.(2009). Natural hazards and environmental   implications in Nepal. Disaster Prevention and Management. Bradford: 2009. Vol. 18,      Iss. 5; p. 478,

Addressing the implications of a natural hazard is not an easy task. Pokhrel and Bandhari address issues that cause landslides and give evidenced details on the exact implications that landslides have had on Nepal inhabitants. The journal intrigues me as they explain that natural calamities claim a total of 1063 lives annually. Apart from landslides, earthquakes are prevalent in Nepal. Some of the reasons given are its rugged topography, varied climatic conditions, lying in an active tectonic zone as well as its geological complexity. These factors are relevant in the study of other regions that are similarly affected by landslides.

Business North Carolina, (2010).Landslide spooks foes of those so inclined, Apr2010, Vol. 30        Issue 4, p48-    48, 2/3p,

The report is useful as it explains how landslides cause critical damage and loss of lives. It starts by narrating how a previous landslide took five lives in amusement park. Artificial slope act is a plan by top officials in North Carolina to reduce the dangers attached to constructing on steeply sloped regions at the ghost town. Poor engineered projects will be minimized to avoid collapsing in the future and destruction. The article reveals government commitment to protect citizens by curbing future incidents.

Vorenberg, S.(2011). West Hills landslide damage in Multnomah County a challenge to fix

            Daily Journal of Commerce (Portland, OR) 01/31/2011 Regional Business News ,   

The article is an interesting review of the effects of landslide. It describes how the workers are stranded and unable to go to work as a result of the landslide leaving road sections closed. Whenever landslides take place there are damages that need to be fixed making the adjustment cumbersome as they distort the norm of life.

Science News. When Mountains Fall, Washington: Aug 29, 1992, Vol. 142, Iss. 9; pg. 136, 3 pgs   

This article makes us look at further effects of landslides. It covers the story of how mountains slide infrequently harming the population.

Brown, J. (2001).Researchers confirm link between landslides and soil porosity, Civil        Engineering. New York: Feb 2001, Vol. 71, Iss. 2; pg. 18,

The journal is an interesting review of recent researches conducted and how they indicate landslide behavior to be sensitive to any small variations of soil. It offers focus on results from research making it a valid source.

Detecting landslides

Lee, S. & Choi, J. (2004). Landslide susceptibility mapping using GIS and the weight-of  evidence model. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Dec2004, Vol. 18 Issue 8, p789-814, 26p;

Is an interesting book that explains how GIS is used for information and predetermining land slide. It has been effective in China and Korea. It thus helps in making urban planning possible.

Olsen, M. & Stuedlein, A. (2010). Discussion of ‘Use of terrestrial laser scanning f characterization of retrogressive landslides in sensitive clay and rotational landslides in          river banks’. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Oct, Vol. 47 Issue 10, p1164-1168, 4p.

Terrestrial laser scanning cannot be explained in a better way than what Olsen and Stuedlen have done in their journal of retrogressive landslides in sensitive clay. This journal lets the reader know of its purpose as a journal which provides great versatility before and after the landslide. The unique factor in using TLS is its role in assessing emergencies especially in sensitive clay locations. The case studies from Canada offer insight into appropriateness of using TLS for monitoring purposes in places like river banks and bed shores. TLS is one of the newest discoveries which have proved to be relevant in geomorphologic studies.

Rosin, P. & Hervás, J. (2005). Remote sensing image thresholding methods for determining          landslide activity. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 3/20/2005, Vol. 26 Issue 6,           p1075-

The international journal is relevant in solving issues related to landslides through using the remote sensing technology. The journal lengthily covers detection and monitoring of landslides and mitigates plans especially in hilly areas. It uses updated methods in detection making it possible to alleviate damage and destruction.

Hazard management

Ashish K. (2010).Landslide management: concept and philosophy, Disaster Prevention and          Management. Bradford: 2010. Vol. 19, Iss. 1; pg. 119,

Ashish in his journal comprehensively covers the causes of landslide and how to manage them as natural disaster. He starts by explaining how the earth is a dynamic sphere with endogenetic forces which keep getting deformed as the force of gravity continually tries to reduce them, in a cycle that results to landslides. His journal addresses the severe effects that landslides have on human life and property destruction. One reason that this journal captures my attention is how he addresses the effects as setbacks to any human development thereby implementing means of managing the calamity to avoid future damages. He further employs management as a tool that sensitizes people on the dangers involved as well as educating them so as to offer hazard mitigation strategies. The journal is an incredible source in describing disaster management.

Vorenberg, S. (2010).Oregon agency reveals hidden landslide dangers. Daily Journal of    Commerce. Portland.

Vorenberg’s journal is an interesting source of information on prevalence of landslides. It attempts to explain the state of those inhabiting the environment as vulnerable as a result of the large water mass under the earth, best referred to as underground springs. Oregon and Portland is the article main focus and he reports how landslide rates have gone up. When the springs come up there are forces within the earth’s surface and the force results to slide of the surface or land. Human activity to suit needs such as constructing highways, are affected by landslides forcing them to close the routes they use for transport. The article is interesting as it explains how the transport industry has partnered with agencies to solve the problem through use of lidar scans.


Ravindra K. Pande, D. & Ravinder S.(2009).Landslide hazard zonation in Hanuman Chatti area of Uttarakhand, India Kumaun University, Nainital, India.

Most hilly and mountainous regions are prone to cases of landslides. It is traumatizing to go through the landslide once then again. Ravindra, Pandre and Ravinder explore how Hanuman Chatti in India has to deal with annual landslides cases. They distract normal activities and tourist traffic. The immense financial implications that landslides have had on this region is what interests me about this article. There have been around five new cases discoveries of landslides in the region. The article discusses the need to implement hazard management tools to help solve the problem.

Uniyal. A, (2008).Prognosis and mitigation strategy for major landslide-prone areas; A case         study of landslide in Uttarkashi township of Uttarakhand (India).Disaster Prevention and        Management. Bradford: Vol. 17, Iss. 5; pg. 622,

This article is interesting as it covers on a topic that is central to addressing the calamity hazard. It offers a prognosis and hazard alleviation in areas that are landslide zones. The main aim is trying to avoid environmental degradation. It encourages the community to comprehensively get involved in developing strategies of dealing with the hazard. in an attempt to minimize the impact of such disasters in the future. It explains the danger prone areas as those situated in fragile rocks and complex tectonics like Uttarkashi. Of importance is that the article urges residents to employ land use patterns that are friendlier to the environment.


Anonymous. (2005).10 Consulting Geologists and Engineers, Canadian Mining Journal. Don       Mills: 2005 pg. 34, 4 pgs,

Consulting geologists and engineers are a group of professionals who deal with implementing preventive measures for natural calamities such as landslides. They have had long term experience in their fields and work to offer environmental assessment programs so as to develop ways of managing disasters. Piteau Associate Engineering interests me because they offer a range of environmental consultancies like hydro geological and geotechnical services to the world.

Brown, J. (2002).Satellite monitoring enhances landslide prediction. Civil engineering. New York: Jun     2002, Vol. 72, Iss. 6; pg. 22, 2 pgs,

Civil engineers who are directly involved in constructions on sloppy areas are essential in determining factors that cause landslides. The journal is useful as it analyzes how engineers use inclinometers and extensometers devices to measure land and its slopes to be able to predict which areas are likely to be affected by land slide. Researchers are also assessing land slides from outer space.

Sivitz, L. (2000). Chalk reveals greatest underwater landslide, Science News. Washington: Dec 9,             2000. Vol. 158, Iss. 24; pg. 373,

It has been said that the greatest underwater slides about 65m years, were following the cataclysmic event that eliminated the last dinosaurs. This is an interesting article as it gives us scientific explanation of landslides.

Ming-Chou,S. Daigee; S. & Yao-Chu Chiu. (2008). How Do Disaster Characteristics Influence    Risk Perception? Risk Analysis: An International Journal, Jun2008, Vol. 28

The article suitably serves the purpose of explaining how risks are dealt with and those affected by them. It is a journal that offers comprehensive reports from credible sources like NRPS National risk perception survey.


Living in a hazard environment is not healthy for any living thing. As earlier discussed human beings are involved in making life risky through the activities they indulge in (Smith & Petley, 2007). It is also evident that natural calamities largely affect our lives in a great way. Land slides have had adverse effects to human life and property destruction. The above annotated bibliographies discuss effects, impact and remedies for landslides comprehensively. Each author has contributed immensely in defining the landslide hazard and its impacts. Activities such as transport are put to a stand still during such incidents (Vorenberg, 2011).   There have been developments of intervention measures to help eradicate the calamity by those affected. Business North Carolina (2010) reports that the Government has established an act to promote save developments and constructions and further avoid destruction of property. Geologists and engineers have formed associations to address the issue and offer assistance where needed (Anonymous, 2005).