Guwahati: Out of the country’s 147 districts, 64 in the Northeast have been identified as landslide-prone districts.
It has been published in Landslide Atlas of India published by the National Center for Remote Sensing, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) under the Department of Space.
The atlas provides a detailed description of landslides present in landslide provinces of India including damage assessment at specific landslide locations.
The Atlas is said to have a database consisting of 80,000 landslides in India mapped by the NRSC/ISRO program during the period 1998-2022.
Landslide Atlas recently released by ISRO.
The database covers landslide-protected areas in 17 states and 2 Union Territories of India in the Himalayas and Western Ghats.
The database contains three types of landslide inventories for the period 1998-2022 – seasonal, event-based and route-based.
The Seasonal Inventory contains a pan-India landslide database covering the 2014 and 2017 monsoon seasons in India.
The event-based inventory details some of the major triggering events such as the Kedarnath and Kerala disasters and the Sikkim earthquakes as well as several large valley-blocking landslides.
Landslides are among the major natural disasters, which cause major problems in mountainous regions by causing loss of hundreds of lives every year as well as property damage, disruption of transport and blocking of communication links.
Landslides have caused massive environmental damage such as soil erosion and increased sedimentation due to loss of human lives every year.
India, a country with diverse geographical and climatic conditions, often faces landslide disasters.
Approximately 0.42 million sq km or 12.6% of the land area, excluding snow-covered areas, is vulnerable to landslides.
Most landslides are triggered by variability in rainfall patterns, while sporadic events such as very heavy rainfall outside the monsoon season (2013 Kedarnath event) and earthquakes (Sikkim earthquake) cause significant disruption to livelihoods and infrastructure.
The northern states of India, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are the states most affected by landslide disasters as most of the region falls within the Himalayas.
Many districts of these states have high population density and major pilgrimage routes or major tourist spots are exposed and affected by landslides.
Of this, 0.18 million sq km falls in the North Eastern Himalayas, including the Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas; 0.14 million square kilometers in the North West Himalayas (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir); 0.09 million sq km in Western Ghats and Konkan Hills (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra) and 0.01 million sq km in Eastern Ghats in Aruku area of Andhra Pradesh (www.gsi.gov.in).
In India, landslides occur mostly during the monsoon season. The Himalayas and Western Ghats are highly susceptible to mass movement due to their hilly topography and heavy rainfall
Northwestern Himalayas contribute 66.5% of landslides in India, followed by Northeastern Himalayas 18.8% and Western Ghats 14.7%.
Landslide exposure was analyzed in hilly areas. Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand state which has the highest density of landslides in India also has the highest total population, working population, literacy and number of households.
Among the top 10 districts in the country that are most prone to landslides, 2 districts are in Sikkim- South and North Sikkim.
“Although the northeastern states experience many landslides annually, they are not particularly vulnerable to them due to socio-economic factors due to their low population density and extensive uncultivated mountain areas,” the atlas says.
A total of 61 people were killed and 18 injured after a massive landslide at the Tupul railway station construction site in Manipur in June last year.
Tupul station is located in Noni district. But the name of Noni district is not in the list of 147 districts which have suffered the most landslides in the country.
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