Lessons Learnt from Landslide Disasters in Europe
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Lessons Learnt from Landslide Disasters in Europe
Edited byJavier Hervs
2003 EUR 20558 EN
NEDIES Series of EUR Publications
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AbstractLandslides are a widespread hazard in many mountainous and hilly regions of Europe. Theycause significant economic losses as well as human victims. The socio-economic impact oflandslides is however difficult to quantify at European scale, mainly because it is usually notconsidered separately when landslides acompany other natural hazards such as floods orearthquakes. This fact often decreases both authorities' and people's awareness of landslide risk.
In order to get a better understanding of landslide disaster management practices in Europe,the NEDIES Project (Natural and Environmental Disaster Information Exchange System) ofthe European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) organised a workshop on 14-15March 2002 at Ispra, Italy. Representatives from civil protection services from various EUMember States and Accession Countries contributed to the workshop and to subsequentdiscussions with information on lessons learnt from a number of landslide disasters recentlyoccurred in their countries. In some cases, an overview of the overall situation or of specificaspects of landslide management in some countries was provided.
This report thus describes some recent catastrophic landslides in Europe, their causes andconsequences. It especially discusses lessons learnt from the prevention and preparednessmeasures adopted, the response actions carried out, the dissemination of information to thepublic and the socio-economic implications in connection with the portrayed disasters.
Abstract .. v
1. Introduction ...... 1
Part I - Lessons Learnt from Specific Landslide Disasters
2. The 5-6 May 1998 mudflows in Campania, Italy ... 5Fabio Brondi & Lorella Salvatori, Department of Civil Protection, Rome, Italy
3. The Stoze landslide and the Predelica torrent debris flow of November 2000in Slovenia ... 17Ale Horvat, Biotechnical Faculty and Enterprise for Torrent and Erosion Control, Ljubljana, Slovenia
4. The October 1997 landslides in San Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal ..... 27Antonio Cunha, Regional Civil Protection and Fire Brigade Service of the Azores, Portugal
5. The May 1997 landslide in soft clay at Vagnhrad, Sweden ...... 33Hjrdis Lfroth, Swedish Geotechnical Institute, Linkping, SwedenUrban Kjellberg, Fire and Rescue Service of the municipalities of Nykping, Oxelsund and Trosa, Sweden
6. The 12 July 1999 mudflow at the hydroelectric workers village of Tomeasa,Hunedoara county, Romania . 41Septimius Mara, Ministry of Waters and Environmental Protection, Bucharest, RomaniaCristian Stamatiade & Gabriela Ionescu, Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing,Bucharest, Romania
7. The 11 August 2000 landslide disaster in the Dvarcionys plant site, Vilnius, Lithuania 49Markauskas Gediminas, State Environmental Protection Inspectorate, Vilnius, Lithuania
Part II - Other Experiences in Landslide Disaster Management
8. The case study of Les Ruines de Schilienne landslide, France: Crisis management 57Robert Hergat, Directorate of Defense and Civil Safety, Ministry of Interior, Aurires-sur Seine, France
9. Landslide disaster management in the Republic of Bulgaria .... 67Dimitar R. Donkov, Civil Protection State Agency, Sofia, Bulgaria
10. Government assistance for municipalities affected by landslides in Sweden ... 79Susanne Edsgrd, Swedish Rescue Services Agency, Karolinen, Sweden
11. Conclusions and key lessons learnt ...... 83
Acknowledgements .. 87
Annex: Classification of landslides .... 89
1. IntroductionEvery year in Europe landslides cause disasters resulting in fatalities, injuries, destruction tohouses, infrastructures and property, as well as loss of productive land. The spreading ofurban settlements and transportation networks into landslide-prone hilly areas is increasingthe potential impact of landslides. Destructive landslides are triggered not only by prolongedor heavy rainfall but also by other natural hazards such as earthquakes, flooding andvolcanic eruptions, as well as by construction and other human activities, or by anycombination of these factors.
Landslides are responsible for significantly higher economic losses and casualties than isgenerally recognised; when landslides are associated to other major natural disasters theireffects are often overlooked by the media. This decreases authorities and people's awarenessof landslide risk.
In addition to the above-mentioned effects, landslides can cause technological disasters inindustrial or developed areas and hence pollution. In coastal zones and volcanic islands theycan trigger other natural hazards like tsunamis. Most frequently, landslide related damage isdirectly caused by the mass movement itself. However, in Europe there are welldocumented examples of devastating flash floods caused by the collapse of natural damscreated by large landslides in narrow river valleys, or by high waves in artificial reservoirsbecause of landslide impact or by sliding and collapse of mine waste dams.
In this report, lessons learnt from landslide disasters recently occurred in EU Member Statesand Accession Countries are discussed with the aim to exchange information andexperiences that can help to cope with future landslides. This is done within the frameworkof the NEDIES project (Natural Disaster Information Exchange System), carried out at theInstitute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) of the EuropeanCommission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). The report is primarily based on thecontributions presented by representatives from national or regional civil protection servicesat the NEDIES expert meeting held at the JRC in Ispra, Italy, on 14 and 15 March 2002, andon subsequent discussions with them.
This report mainly presents the prevention and preparedness measures adopted, the responseactions undertaken and the dissemination of the information to the public in connection withthese disasters, as well as the lessons learnt derived from the various disaster managementphases. It also provides an overview of the events, their causes and consequences, includingin some cases their socio-economic impact. Part I of the report portrays lessons learnt fromlandslide disasters that occurred in recent years in Italy, Slovenia, Portugal, Sweden,Romania and Lithuania. In Part II, other experiences and policies related to landslidedisaster management in France, Bulgaria and Sweden are discussed. Both are listed in theContents section. Lastly, some conclusions are drawn. To assist the non-expert reader, anannex is provided, which contains a selected classification of landslides together with someimportant definitions and concepts.
It should be noted that the term landslide is used in this report in a generic sense, unlessspecified, to refer to gravitational mass movements ranging from slides, flows and spreadsto rockfalls, topples and rock avalanches.
This report mainly addresses the European Commission Services and Civil Protectionauthorities and personnel of the EU Member States and Accession Countries. It alsoaddresses scientists and engineers involved in natural and environmental disaster prevention
and mitigation. The report is available on-line on the NEDIES Project website(http://nedies.jrc.it/doc/Landslides_Final.pdf).
Lessons Learnt from Specific Landslide Disasters
2. The 5-6 May 1998 mu