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Mass movements

Many cantons make their hazard maps available on the Internet. The cantonal offices for natural hazards, the municipalities and, if necessary, the local emergency services can provide information about the areas at risk.


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Consult the available resources, in particular the hazard mapfor your area. The hazard maps show the areas in Switzerland that are endangered by natural hazards. Many cantons make their hazard maps accessible on the Internet. The cantonal natural hazard agencies, communes and in some cases the local emergency services can provide information on the endangered areas.

If you live in an area that is exposed to the danger of landslides, shallow landslides, debris flows or rockfalls, it is crucial to take precautions in good time and keep the resources you need to hand:

For existing or new buildings

  • It is essential that new buildings are erected only outside the danger zones.

  • For existing buildings in endangered areas, following the planning advice.

  • Carry out structural works: Reinforce foundations and external walls, install permanent protection for openings such as windows and doors. Consult experts on questions concerning the precautions.

  • Have rainwater diverted.

  • Modify the interior layout: rooms on the endangered slope side of the building should only be used for short periods of time.

  • Modify the exterior layout: place seating areas, balconies etc. against the exterior wall facing away from the potential landslide.

  • Find out about the existing emergency plans from the authorities where you live and work.

For land outside existing residential areas

  • Stabilise landslide-prone slopes by planting deep-rooted trees and shrubs.

  • Divert rainwater (drain the slope).

While a landslide or rockfall is taking place, remain calm and observe the following points:

  • Avoid slopes that are exposed to the danger of landslides, shallow landslides, debris flows and rockfalls (consult hazard map).

  • Keep indoors.

  • Do not enter insubstantial buildings (e.g. sheds, barns).

  • If you live in an endangered area, move to a downslope room.

  • If you are evacuated, it is essential that you follow the instructions of the emergency services.

  • Stay calm.

Following a mass movement, any damage should be assessed and reported so that it can be rectified as soon as possible. The following points should be observed:

  • Report damage to the buildings insurer. Do not remove damaged parts of buildings, fixtures, fittings or furniture until they have been inspected by the insurance experts.

  • In case of damage to load-bearing elements of the building (supporting columns, walls), have the structural safety examined by a structural engineer.

  • Evaluate your personal experience of the incident and take action. Consult experts on measures to prevent future damage.