standard How many people die from landslides?

Dr Dave Petley, founder of the International Landslide Centre part of IHRR, has been keeping an international database of landslide fatalities since September 2002.  I thought readers of this blog would be interested in some of his preliminary reports, which really are quite devastating and reading the charts below I realise that in all likelihood not many people in the world probably know about the number of deaths caused by landslides each year.  It also provides context for why researchers are interested in landslides — if we better understand how landslides happen the potential for saving human lives could be tremendous.  Below is some information on fatalities in October from Dave’s blog hosted by the American Geophysical Union:

…for October 2010 I recorded a total of 32 landslide events that resulted in one or more deaths.  These landslides resulted in 273 fatalities.  Excluding seismically induced events (most notably the October 2005 Kashmir earthquake), the average number of fatal landslides over the previous seven years was 35, resulting in an average of 394 fatalities, so 2010 should be seen as being below average.  The largest number was 2009, when I recorded 83 events, mostly due to landfalling tropical cyclones.  However, as the graph below shows, 2010 remains on track to be the year with the most fatality-inducing landslides recorded to date.  The graph shows cumulative totals, with 2009 (the previous record), 2003 (the lowest annual total) and the average displayed:

Number of fatality-inducing landslides for 2003, 2009 and 2010 compared with average

Red dots indicate fatal landslides in 2009 and yellow dots -- fatal landslides in 2010


  1. The graph above is very impressive. Don´t forget that every day (at any time) it has a micro landslides around the world. The question is: ¿How to prevent or mitigate the landslide in tropical zones.

  2. I am doing a school project on landslides, and was wondering if you could reference me to a reliable site that could provide information on how many landslides there were in 2013?

    1. Probably the best source is The Landslide Blog
      Not sure if all of the data is in for 2013, but you could always check with the author.

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