Landslides can happen without warning. They are often triggered by heavy rain, earthquakes and, in some cases, human activity. Find out what to do before, during and after a landslide.
Check if your area might be prone to landslides. Areas that are prone to landslides include areas with:
Review your insurance regularly. Having insurance cover for your home and contents is important to help you get back on your feet if you suffer damage in a disaster.
Get your household ready. Work out what supplies you might need and make a plan together.
Your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Group can tell you if there have been landslides in your area before.
Know the warning signs so you can act quickly if you see them. Regularly inspect your property, especially after long dry spells, earthquakes or heavy rainfall. Look for:
Be alert when driving, especially where there are embankments along roadsides. Watch the road for collapsed pavements, mud and fallen rocks.
Make a plan online with your whānau to get through an emergency. Think about the things you need every day and work out what you would do if you didn't have them.
Get out of the path of the landslide quickly.
Evacuate if your home or the building you are in is in danger — take your grab bag and pets with you if you can do so quickly.
Warn neighbours and help others if you can.
Contact emergency services and your local council.
Stay alert for future landslides.
Stay away from the landslide area until it has been properly inspected and authorities give the all clear.
Report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities.
Re-plant damaged ground as soon as possible. Erosion caused by the loss of ground cover can lead to flash flooding.
Help others if you can, especially people who may need extra help.
A landslide is the movement of rock, soil and vegetation down a slope. Landslides can be the size of a single boulder. Or they can be as big as a large avalanche of debris with huge quantities of rock and soil that spreads across many kilometres. Landslides are a serious geological hazard in many parts of New Zealand.
Heavy rainfall or earthquakes can cause a landslide. Human activities can also cause landslides. These could be:
Be aware of the warning signs.
New Zealand has mountainous land, loose volcanic soil and frequent earthquake activity. These make landslides common in many parts of the country.
It’s important to recognise the warning signs and act quickly.