Tips of the Month



Learn about how to monitor your surroundings for signs of slope failures and landslides

  • Be Alert.
    Landslides occur without public warning.  If you live in a landslide-prone area, be alert—particularly during monsoon seasons or periods of heavy rainfall.  If you see signs of a landslide, you yourself must make the decision to evacuate.
  • Make a Report.
    Much emphasis on the public’s participation in the monitoring of landslides.  If you suspect that a landslide is about to occur or see changes in your hillside surroundings, make a report.
  • Be a part of the early warning system.
    When communities are aware of the signs of a landslide, they can work together to form a community-based early warning system program.  Call 999 for reporting emergencies.  For signs of slope failure, call the engineering department of your local authority or Cawangan Kejuruteraan Cerun, JKR.

There are many signs of slope failure

On or around slopes

  1. Bulging ground appears at the base of a slope or retaining wall
  2. Water breaks through the ground surface in new location near a slope
  3. Water appears at the base of a slope
  4. Fences, retaining walls, utility poles, or trees tilt or move
  5. Cracks appear on the slope
  6. Water pipes break


Signs for rivers and streams:

  1. Water unexpectedly gushes out from a slope


Around your house:

  1. Cracks appear on the ground or in the foundation of houses, buildings and other structures
  2. Structures on slopes moving away from their original position
  3. Doors or windows stick or jam for the first time


Signs for around your community grounds:

  1. Sunken or down-dropped road beds
  2. Slowly developing, widening cracks appear on the ground or on paved areas such as streets or driveways
  3. Land movement and small slides
  4. Outside walls, walks, or stairs begin pulling away from building


Signs when driving:

  1. Collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flow can be seen when driving (embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides)



The signs of slope failure as we have just seen can materialize days, weeks, or months before failure actually occurs.
However, there are some unmistakeable signs just moments before a landslide.  And these are:

  1. Rapid increase in creek water levels, and water may become cloudy and suddenly includes driftwood from the trees above, or
  2. Sudden decrease in creek water levels though rain is still falling or just recently stopped.
  3. A faint rumbling sound that increases in volume is noticeable as the landslide nears.
  4. Unusual sounds, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together, might indicate moving debris.

Who we are

SlopeWatch is a community program run by residents who monitor slopes in their neighbourhood for signs of landslides and conduct simple maintenance of slopes, such as clearing of overgrowth in drains.

By participating as SlopeWatchers, residents become the “eyes and ears” for the local authorities. Because residents are familiar with their surroundings, they are the best observers of any changes in the slopes around their homes.
By working together with federal slope agencies and local and state authorities, communities can take a risk-reduction approach to hillside living.

Public awareness and education sessions help residents become more knowledgeable on safeguarding their communities.