Landslides are among the real risks whether you are outdoor hiking or living near the landslide-prone area. A landslide is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope. Landslides are a type of “mass wasting,” which denotes any down-slope movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity.
In Southeast Asia, landslides are very common especially during the wet season which starts from June to November. However, in some cases, landslides also occur as an outcome of an earthquake.
When hiking in Southeast Asia, do not disregard the possibility of encountering landslide. Here are some tips so you can increase your chance of getting out alive during these natural disasters.
Before a Landslide
Coordinate with the right agencies on the possibility of a landslide along the trail that you are to hike
– Leave your contact number to the agency that oversees the trail. Some of the trails in Southeast Asia are managed by local officials.
– Take note of the emergency contact numbers evacuation plans.
– Communicate with your friends and family members about your hiking routes and plans. If a cell signal is available, let your family members or friends know about your exact location or coordinates. This will help the response team to get to you when you get stuck.
– Carry an emergency kit. The response team in Southeast Asia is not as advanced as in other countries. So, it is always a good idea to be prepared.
– Bring enough food especially water.
– If you hike with young children, bring a carrier. It is safer to carry the children during disasters.
– Hike with a local guide
If slide strikes during your hike, move return immediately to your starting point. As much as possible, follow the same route to avoid confusion.
– Immediately contact the local officials, family members, and friends and inform them about your situation.
– Avoid stepping on unstable ground or rocks
– Move uphill as quickly as possible if you get stuck in the path of a landslide
– Follow the instructions of your local guide (if you happen to engage one). They would know exactly how to manage the situation as they have experienced it several times.
– If you get stuck and decide to stay in your location and wait for rescue workers, try to provide details of your location as detailed as possible.
– Never cross the slide path nor try to outrun the slide, because chances are you won’t be able to.
– Carry your young children while seeking a safer place or while waiting for the rescue team. Older kids should be held in close supervision. This will give them comfort and minimize their fear.
After a Landslide
– Communicate with the local officials about your needs especially when you are with young children. Chances are they will prioritize you in terms of evacuation or necessities.
– Explain to your children about the occurrence of natural disasters. This will lessen their trauma and would look forward to getting back on trails sooner.
– Consult a specialist when you noticed a change in behavior in your child. Chances are, he may be having a trauma. Give him some time to recover and gain his confidence before hitting back the trails.