Due to the loose Volcanic deposits that make up of the soil on Saint Vincent and on the Grenadines, landslides are the most common natural hazard with 2004, 2005 and 2010 recording numerous landslides .
Nevertheless, when natural disasters are mentioned, most people think about earthquakes, hurricanes or flooding rather than landslides. Even the historic records seem to indicate that landslides are less important than earthquakes, hurricanes or floods.
Most people tend to regard landslides as accidents, as something that only happens to others because, in comparison with earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, landslides affect relatively small and sharply delineated areas.
Landslides often move so slowly that even the people living in the affected area are not aware of it. They might only notice that from time to time, especially during or shortly after unusually wet periods, cracks develop in the walls of their dwelling. After a while they fix these cracks and forget about it.
The driving force behind all landslides is gravity. A landslide will occur when the gravitational pull increases when weight is added to the rock mass, for example, building on it or when the rock becomes saturated with water. The strength of a rock mass can be reduced by weathering, earthquakes, etc.
Landslides occur for a variety of reasons. They often occur as a result of natural phenomena but human activity can also be a factor:
Landslides and mudflows can strike without warning, trapping or burying people.
You hear a faint, rumbling sound that increases in volume in one specific direction and may begin shifting in that direction under your feet.
How to tell of Your Property or Your Area is at Risk of Landslides:
Look at the slopes around you. If the land is soft and steep, if vegetation has been removed, if water collects near a slope, if the slope has been cut into “ all of these things could indicate danger. Also, if it has happened there before, it is likely to happen again.
Talk to old timers, persons who've lived in the area for some time, and ask the experts to find out more about the landslide history of the area. The more you know, the better prepared you area.
What You Can Do About It:
Take some of the following action to reduce your risk and loss. This is called mitigation:
The forces of nature are beyond our control but if we reduce our vulnerability landslides do not have to become disasters
Tell-Tale Signs of an Impending Landslide: