20 Feb 2023
 | 20 Feb 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

An integrated, replicable Landslide Early Warning System for informal settlements – case study in Medellín, Colombia

Moritz Gamperl, John Singer, Carolina Garcia-Londoño, Lisa Seiler, Julian Castañeda, David Cerón-Hernandez, and Kurosch Thuro

Abstract. Due to climate change and growing urbanization, fatalities from landslides are rising worldwide, and thus solutions for people at risk are needed. This is especially the case for the Andean cities which are often expanding into the steep slopes surrounding them. In Medellín, Colombia, a combination of landslide-prone dunite rock and steep slopes in the east of the city creates a high-hazard scenario for about 87,000 residents, most of whom live in informal settlements. We developed a landslide early warning system (LEWS) which can be applied in such semi-urban situations. The LEWS consists mainly of a measurement system of horizontal and vertical sensor lines across the slope and autonomous point-sensors in between these lines. All parts of the LEWS, from hazard assessment to the monitoring system and the reaction capacity, are supported by extensive activities together with the local community to gain trust and create synergies. This also includes local authorities, agencies and NGO's. To test such a system, a prototype has been installed in a neighborhood in Medellín in 2020–2022. The experiences of this installation resulted in a framework for LEWS's of this kind which we have compiled on a wiki-page to facilitate replication by people in other parts of the world. Hopefully, this can stimulate a lively exchange between researchers and other stakeholders who want to use, modify and replicate our system.

Moritz Gamperl et al.

Status: open (until 03 Apr 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2023-20', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Mar 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2023-20', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Mar 2023 reply

Moritz Gamperl et al.

Moritz Gamperl et al.


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Short summary
We developed a system which can help improve the resilience of informal settlements in mountainous areas against shallow landslides. This system comprises a monitoring system which is specially designed for such areas and an according social system, the goal of which is to include the local residents in every step. We here present this system and the tools for it's further improvement by and with the scientific community, as well as endangered on-site communities.