A man walks along a road damaged by landslides in Puerto Rico. ©Jonathan Godt, 2017.

Hurricane season has officially started in Puerto Rico and, with it, the potential for tens of thousands of landslides across the island. While the risk is significant—Hurricane Maria triggered more than 70,000 landslides across the island—residents now have a new resource to help them better understand and mitigate landslide risk.

The Landslide Guide for Residents of Puerto Rico was released earlier this year after extensive collaboration between communities, universities, and the U.S. Geological Survey. During the process the team—led by USGS, the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez, and the Natural Hazards Center—worked with community and emergency management stakeholders to create a guide that residents could use to identify and protect themselves from the landslide threats they face now and in the future.

The following StoryMap tells the tale of the tremendous risks Puerto Rico residents face daily from potential rock falls, flows, and slides—risks that are compounded by certain construction practices as well as the island’s exposure to earthquakes and hurricanes. This visual and interactive resource details not only the widespread landslide danger on the island, but also the incredible engagement of community members in creating the guide and improving landslide risk communication. The StoryMap was created by Natural Hazards Center graduate research assistant, Jocelyn West, and in partnership with Esri.

Landslides in Puerto Rico Story Map (In English, Spanish language version available soon).

Since releasing the guide, the team has created several more culturally informed risk communication products, including:

These products are available for public use in communicating about landslides. They build upon the knowledge in the Landslide Guide and offer a variety of avenues for teaching and learning about these hazards.

The team is continuing work in Puerto Rico to advance science and mitigation surrounding landslide hazards. Learn more about the project and upcoming products on the Puerto Rico Landslide Hazards Mitigation Project Page.