Publication Details

Flentje, P. N. & Chowdhury, R. N. (1999). Geotechnical assessment and management of 148 landslides triggered by a major storm event in Wollongong, Australia. Australian Disaster Conference 1999 (pp. 269-274). ACT:


On the 17th August 1998 a severe rainfall event occurred over a widespread area of the City of Wollongong. During this storm, 1 person drowned and an estimated $50 to $100 million damage was caused to the City of Wollongong. Road access to the City was cut by raised water levels and debris flows covering and or scouring road and rail routes for up to 36 hours following this event. A geotechnical team of 3, including the first author, was organised at very short notice during the response phase of the emergency operations on the early morning of the 20th August by the Local Emergency Management Officer of the Wollongong City Council. This team was organised with a Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology weather forecast in hand of a further deterioration of the weather conditions expected during the next few days. In the weeks after the storm event the team inspected 191 geotechnical problem sites. The team assisted the emergency services by visually inspecting reported cases of slope instability, whilst a separate team looked at flooding and hydrological problems. The geotechnical team also determined action plans for hazard and risk assessment that included referral of sites to relevant authorities, as appropriate. A Hazard - Consequence Matrix based Risk Assessment approach, in accordance with the AS/NZS 4360:1995 Risk Management Standard was adopted for the qualitative risk assessment work. A comprehensive database of site, visit, photograph and map information was collated for documentation and future reference.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Australian Disaster Conference