Debris flows are rapidly flowing mixtures of rock debris, mud, and water that originate on steep slopes. During and following volcanic eruptions, debris flows are among the most destructive and persistent hazards. Debris flows threaten lives and property not only on volcanoes but far downstream in valleys that drain volcanoes where they arrive suddenly and inundate entire valley bottoms. Debris flows can destroy vegetation and structures in their path, including bridges and buildings. Their deposits can cover roads and railways, smother crops, and fill stream channels, thereby reducing their flood-carrying capacity and navigability.