http://twitpic.com/photos/ColoradoDOT) reminds us that living in mountain communities brings with it a host of hazards for which residents and travelers must be prepared, including wildfires, winter storms, avalanches, and rock or landslides. For the latest on the i-70 rockslide and for travel conditions, check http://cotrip.org/ or http://coloradodot.info/ or follow the Colorado Department of Transportation on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/coloradodot.
Landslides occur when masses of rock, earth, or debris move down a slope. They may be small or very large, and can move at slow to high speeds. They are activated by such things as storms and fires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, rock and soil weakened through saturation by snowmelt or heavy rains and excess weight from accumulation of rain or snow, stockpiling of rock or ore, or waste piles.
Man-made structures may stress weak slopes to failure creating a landslide.
Slope materials that become saturated with water may develop a debris flow or mud flow. The resulting slurry of rock and mud may pick up trees, houses, and cars, thus blocking bridges and tributaries causing flooding along its path.
Landslides occur in every state. The Appalachian Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Coastal Ranges and some parts of Alaska and Hawaii have severe landslide problems. Any area composed of very weak or fractured materials resting on a steep slope can, and probably will, experience landslides.
Click on the link here for the USGS webpage. They have a lot of information on the the DeBeque Canyon landslide in Colorado. http://geosurvey.state.co.us/Default.aspx?tabid=144
Too, check out http://readycolorado.com/ for additional information on how to prepare a car emergency kit, just in case you ever get trapped or stuck in your vehicle and be safe and be aware!
Since some EM sites are precluded from accessing Twitpic or other photo-sharing sites, some other photos from CDOT of this morning's rockslide (via http://twitpic.com/photos/ColoradoDOT)