Landslides in Jamaica: Distribution, Cause, Impact and Management
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; University of the West Indies
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AbstractJamaica has one of the highest natural hazard risk exposures in the world, with more than 90% of the population exposed to two or more natural hazards. The island of Jamaica is particularly prone to multiple hazards, including hurricanes, earthquakes and slope instability, due to its geographical position (within the track of Atlantic hurricanes and its location on the Caribbean ‘tectonic’ plate) and its topography and geology (steep slopes with highly weathered material). Of these hazards, slope instability is the most common, affecting not only mountainous areas but also the coastal plains, where submarine landslides have been known to generate tsunamis. One such tsunami contributed to the destruction of the then capital city of Port Royal in 1692. Landslides are predominantly triggered by seismic activities and heavy rainfall associated with hurricanes and tropical depressions. These landslides have caused loss of lives, widespread destruction to the built and natural environment and long-term damage to the socio-economic development of the country. The slope instability problem is compounded by the lack of awareness of the impact by the general public, developers and planners, as well as uncontrolled and unplanned urbanization on marginal lands susceptible to slope failure.
CitationMiller, S., Shawskoshi, A., Harris, N., Richards, D. & Brown, L. (2018). Landslides in Jamaica: Distribution, Cause, Impact and Management. In Singh, R. & Bartlett, D. (Eds.), Natural Hazards: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Landslides. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
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