As winter rains come, thousands of square kilometres of territory across Europe’s heart face a looming threat: steep slopes and waterlogged soils combine to trigger landslides.
A build-up of groundwater within a slope increases its weight and decreases its cohesiveness, weakening the slope’s ability to resist the remorseless pull of gravity. The heavy earth flows downward. For all in the path of a landslide the results are devastating, and frequently lethal.
"In Italy, landslides have claimed an average of 54 victims per year during the last half century," says Nicola Casagli of Italy’s National Group for Hydro-geological Disaster Prevention (GNDCI),a research network working with Italy’s Civil Protection Department.
Marc Paganini | alfa
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