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Volume 31, Issue 1

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Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:27

Five Questions: What a Cal State Fullerton Professor is Learning About Deadly Mudslides

(TNS) - The catastrophic mudslide that inundated houses in Montecito in Santa Barbara County in January, killing 21 people, appeared to hit suddenly. But the disaster, mere weeks after a wildfire scorched the area, didn’t come out of nowhere.

For over two decades, Cal State Fullerton’s Binod Tiwari has studied such mudslides and landslides around the world, including in Southern California, to understand their causes and mitigate their devastation.

In 2014, the civil and environmental engineering professor and his students worked on a regional study on debris flow and mudflow after a series of December storms. The study included areas affected by the Silverado Canyon fire and the 91 Freeway fire, both in September 2014. It found that reports of mudflows and mudslides appeared to be exclusively in areas that burned that year or the year before.