Debris flows, ominously known as "mountain tsunamis" in Japanese, are serious natural disasters, causing many fatalities annually. Two major cases caused over 20 000 fatalities in Armero, Colombia in 1985, and tens of thousands in Vargas State, Venezuela in 1999.
According to geology.com, "A debris flow is a moving mass of loose mud, sand, soil, rock, water and air that travels down a slope under the influence of gravity. . . . [and] at least 50% of the material must be sand-size particles or larger."
Much like dealing with other natural disasters, mitigation of the most serious threats, hazard preparedness, and implementing accurate predictive technologies helps prevent damage and loss of life.
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