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Landslides When a lot of soil rocks and other stuff slides down a hill it is called a landslide Landslides are caused by rain and melting snow that goes into cracks in the earth on top of a mountain or hill Then the earth is weakened because the water makes the soil loose Landslides can also be caused by erosion Erosion is when things like a river or mining slowly eats away the bottom of a hill or slope The top of the hill is no longer supported by the bottom The loose soil can be set off by things like mine explosions thunder traffic noise earthquakes machinery ice etc If the soil or rocks are weak enough any of these things could start a landslide Types of Landslides There are three different kinds of landslides falls slides and flows A rockfall is rocks that break off steep cliffs and fall because they have been loosened by frost or ice When they hit the ground if there is a slope the rocks start rolling down the hill and become a rockslide A rockslide is large rocks that break off the top of a hill and slide down This can happen after heavy rains or in an area where lots of trees were uprooted The roots of the trees are important because they hold the rocks and soil in place A mudflow is a watery kind of landslide made of a mixture of soil and water It usually happens after heavy rains and can go as fast as 90 kmhr Where Most Common Landslides are most common in the United States and the Rocky mountains Between 25 and 50 people die each year from landslides in the United States Examples Vaiont Italy 1963
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