Idukki is a South Indian district in the state of Kerala, which is highly susceptible to landslides. This hilly area which is a hub of a wide variety of flora and fauna, has been suffering from slope stability issues due to heavy rainfall. A well-established landslide early warning system for the region is the need of the hour, considering the recent landslide disasters in 2018 and 2019. This study is an attempt to define a regional scale rainfall threshold for landslide occurrence in Idukki district, as the first step of establishing a landslide early warning system. Using the rainfall and landslide database from 2010 to 2018, an intensity-duration threshold was derived as I = 0.9D−0.16
for the Idukki district. The effect of antecedent rainfall conditions in triggering landslide events was explored in detail using cumulative rainfalls of 3 days, 10 days, 20 days, 30 days, and 40 days prior to failure. As the number of days prior to landslide increases, the distribution of landslide events shifts towards antecedent rainfall conditions. The biasness increased from 72.12% to 99.56% when the number of days was increased from 3 to 40. The derived equations can be used along with a rainfall forecasting system for landslide early warning in the study region.
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