Post-seismic landslides, the tough lesson of a catastrophe

The rock avalanche that destroyed the village of Xinmo in Sichuan, China, on June 24th, 2017, brought the issue of landslide risk and disaster chain management in highly seismic regions back into the spotlight. The long-term post-seismic behaviour of mountain slopes is complex and hardly predictable. Nevertheless, the integrated use of field monitoring, remote sensing and real-time predictive modelling can help to set-up effective early warning systems, provide timely alarms, optimize rescue operations and perform secondary hazard assessments. We believe that a comprehensive discussion on post-seismic slope stability and on its implications for policy makers can no longer be postponed.

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