What causes a mudslide?

Answer

Mudslides occur when an earthen slope becomes unstable due to some event such as heavy rain, drought, earthquake or volcanic eruption, according to the California Department of Public Health. Landslides usually occur on steep slopes, making these types of slopes less stable than gentle ones.

When heavy rain falls for long periods of time, water works its way into the soil, which allows the soil grains to move. Once the ground becomes saturated, the softer, moving soil can break free from the firm soil or rock found underneath. When this happens, a mudslide occurs. As the earth moves down the slope, it gains momentum and picks up objects such as rocks, boulders and houses.

Mudslides cause approximately 25 to 50 deaths in the United States each year. Not only are people in danger of being trapped in the mudslide itself, but they can also become injured by fallen electric lines or broken gas lines. Landslides can wipe out roadways, resulting in dangerous conditions for drivers which can sometimes cause automobile accidents.

Signs that a mudslide might occur include tilted trees, telephone poles and fence posts. A sudden increase or decrease in the water level of a nearby creek might also indicate that ground is starting to move somewhere upstream.

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1 Additional Answer
Ask.com Answer for: what causes a mudslide
In a mudslide, or landslide, masses of rock, earth, or debris move down a slope. Mudslides are activated by storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, fires, freezing and thawing, and the steepening of slopes by erosion.
In the culinary world, a mudslide refers to a sweet, creamy cocktail made with Malibu rum, Kahlua, Irish cream and cream or milk.
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