Extreme events like heavy rainfall, storms or hurricane activate landslides. Unstable soil surface conditions can make heavy rains act as the triggering point for mud, rocks and/or debris to move down from mountains and hillsides. These mass movements cause unexpected human and economical losses. Heavy rainfall is the most common cause for landslides although earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, erosion, collapse of groundwater reservoirs, ice melt can also cause them.
Floods, landslides, and droughts are hazards that are triggered by excess or shortage of precipitation. Monitoring precipitation is important to see those hazards coming and to enable decision makers to take measures as early as possible. Precipitation data - together with anciliary data - thus help to prevent that natural hazards turn into disasters.
As UN-SPIDER reported, NASA is preparing for the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite in the end of February. The Satellite will be mainly used for rain- and snowfall observation and forecasting.