Rainfall-induced landslides are common in Puerto Rico (PR). The presence of steep slopes in mountainous terrain, coupled with weathered soils and intense rainfall, leads to severe slope-stability problems throughout the island. Episodic triggering events such as hurricanes and earthquakes further exacerbate these problems. All physiographic provinces of the island have experienced landslides. The stability of natural and man-made slopes is a serious concern for government authorities and the civil engineering community in Puerto Rico. This paper presents an overview of the rainfall induced landslide problem in PR, a summary of literature published on this subject, and proposes a rainfall intensity landslide threshold based on landslide events data from 1959 to 2003. This threshold can be used as part of a potential landslide warning system.
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Rainfall-induced landslides in Puerto Rico: An overview