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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

How Do Landslides Affect Us?

Landslides cause property damage, injury and death and adversely affect a variety of resources. For example, water supplies, fisheries, sewage disposal systems, forests, dams and roadways can be affected for years after a slide event.

The negative economic effects of landslides include the cost to repair structures, loss of property value, disruption of transportation routes, medical costs in the event of injury, and indirect costs such as lost timber and lost fish stocks. Water availability, quantity and quality can be affected by landslides. Geotechnical studies and engineering projects to assess and stabilize potentially dangerous sites can be costly.


Rock slide, Loggers Creek
In 1991, a rock slide near Loggers Creek closed the Sea-to-Sky Highway for 12 days and cost $7 million for repairs and preventative structures (photo courtesy of the Ministry of Transportation and Highways).
A debris torrent at Britannia Creek in August of 1991 caused extensive damage to property (photo courtesy of K. Fletcher).
Landslide losses

Large, infrequent landslides contribute less to personal and property losses than do the smaller, more frequent slides and debris torrents in populated areas of British Columbia.


Squamish Highway

The Vancouver to Squamish highway has been affected by 14 major debris torrents since 1906. Twelve lives have been lost and 11 bridges, 4 homes and numerous structures have been damaged or destroyed. Not one of these 14 slide events was larger than 20 000 cubic metres (photo courtesy of the Ministry of Transportation and Highways).



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Landslides in British Columbia was originally produced as Information Circular 1993-7 by the BC Geological Survey of the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources in cooperation with the B.C. Ministry of Health, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways, the B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, the B.C. Ministry of Forests, the B.C. Provincial Emergency Program, and with the assistance of the Geological Survey of Canada

Copies are available from:

Publications Office,

BC Geological Survey