In Focus: Landslides and their impact on UK property
With climate change, the threat of bigger and more frequent landslides is growing.
According to the Met Office, the UK is experiencing more extreme weather events linked to climate change.
Wind and sea action is constantly eroding cliffs and shores, causing collapses and increased rainfall on slopes is causing soil water loading (forcing the grains of soil apart, regularly causing the liquefied soil and water mixtures to collapse and slip downhill).
According to the Environment Agency around 700 properties could be lost to coastal erosion over the next 20 years, and as many as 2,000 in the next 50 years.
As shown on Channel 5’s recent documentary ‘Killer Landslides’, we have seen evidence of major disasters from landslides in the last 12 months alone, such as 49 homes being wiped out in a matter of minutes when a complete hillside turned to liquid in Washington covering a square mile with 20 metres of mud, and a snow melt in Afghanistan causing a landslide which buried 97 houses; in the same Province where a landslide engulfed an entire village the previous year.
In 1966, heavy rainfall was the cause of the disaster in Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil, when the colliery tip became saturated and suddenly started a landslide of liquefied slurry, engulfing the local school. More recently, an above-average rainfall from April to December in 2012 and into early 2013 marked an increase in the number of landslides recorded by the British Geological Survey (BGS) - tragically, four people were killed and at least six people were injured.
(Left): A house in Oddicombe Cliffs left perilously close to the edge of a landslide before finally disappearing down the cliff in 2013. The FCI Standard and Premium reports provide a property specific hazard rating on the potential for landslide activity from the country’s leading experts, the British Geological Survey.
So, how can the homebuyer be protected? The FCI Standard (RRP £45.00 +VAT) and FCI Premium (RRP £50.00 +VAT) Environmental Reports contain full ground stability risk information on many types of man-made and natural ground instability risks. Along with the other major geo-hazards, the Ground Stability Module included in the FCI reports provides a property specific hazard rating on the potential for landslide activity from the country’s leading experts, the British Geological Survey.
For full details on the FCI’s suite of environmental reports call +44 (0) 1732 755 180
FCI’s ‘In Focus’ series looks at current environmental risks to UK property