OLYMPIA - The Washington State Department of Natural Resources Division of Geology and Earth Resources (Washington Geological Survey) requests that anyone seeing a landslide to report it as soon as possible on the department's website, http://www.dnr.wa.gov/.

In order to reduce losses during future catastrophic landslide events, it is crucial to understand where and why landslides occur. The time to accomplish such documentation is as soon after the event as possible, because the information is perishable.

Public Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland explained the importance of contacting the Department of Natural Resources. "Data recovered from landslide studies are essential to understanding hazards and associated risks, which greatly aids in identifying susceptible communities, speeding up emergency response and recovery, and helping state, county, and city officials mitigate infrastructure, property damage, and loss of life."

The Geology and Earth Resources Division, especially during storm events, actively maps landslides as they occur and displays that data on the DNR website to warn of future landslide threats. The information is especially valuable when there are large numbers of landslides occurring at the same time. The DNR website provides a central site for landslide information accessible to everyone.

Know the signs

Even though the rains have tapered off, the ground is still dangerously saturated, and the potential for landslides is high. They can kill, so be sure to get out of harm's way. Landslide danger is greatest on steep slopes, but can also occur on shallow slopes. If you see these warning signs, please report them at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/.

o new cracks on the ground, driveway, or in structures (walls),

o leaning trees, telephone poles, or fences,

o bulging retention walls,

o bulging or sinking in road beds, and

o new or more vigorous springs, seeps, or saturated ground in areas not typically wet, especially along hillsides.

If you suspect immediate danger, move out of harm's way and contact your local Emergency Management Division at:

http://www.emd.wa.gov/about/emergency_management_agencies.shtml.

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