Abstract

Abstract

The Durham Fatal Landslide Database (DFLD) shows that the greatest impact of fatal landslides occurs in Asia. This is also a continent in which profound changes are occurring, including rapid economic development, urbanization, population growth, land-use change and climate change. Surprisingly, there have been few attempts to examine the likely alterations to the occurrence of fatal landslides across Asia as a result of these changes. In this paper, the DFLD is used to examine the pattern of rainfall-induced fatal landslides (RFLs) across Asia. It is shown that in South Asia the occurrence of RLFs is strongly controlled by the summer monsoon, whereas in East Asia tropical cyclones have a greater impact. In SE Asia no clear climatic control has been identified. The patterns for East and South Asia, where most of the recorded fatal landslides were seen to occur, have been used to examine likely changes as a result of climate change-induced modifications to large-scale meteorological systems. These are then compared with the impacts of population growth. It is shown that although climate change might be expected to increase landslide occurrence, the impacts are minor compared with those of forecast population changes.

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