Landslides in Cameroon
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Landslides in Cameroon

June 2, 2004
The steep forested slopes of the seventeen million-year-old Monts Bamboutos volcano rise 2740 meters (8990 feet) above sea level in southwestern Cameroon. The collapsed volcano provides loose, rich volcanic soil, which has brought farmers to the region. Now, the same soil that attracted farmers is a threat to their lives and livelihoods. As the trees were removed to make way for agriculture on slopes as steep as 30 degrees, the soil eroded into loose, unstable layers—a perfect formula for landslides. In 2003, heavy rains triggered a series of deadly landslides in the caldera. At least 20 people died, and hundreds more were left homeless. The threat posed by landslides to the region is increasing both because soil-anchoring trees are being cleared and because the susceptible population around the crater is growing. This is an ASTER image.

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