Guwahati: Out of 147 districts in the country, 64 in the Northeast have been identified as landslide-affected districts.
This was revealed in the Landslide Atlas of India brought out by National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) under the Department of Space.
The atlas provides the details of landslides present in Landslide provinces of India including damage assessment of specific landslide locations.
The atlas has a database consisting of 80,000 landslides in India mapped by the NRSC/ISRO programme during the 1998-2022 period is reported
The landslide atlas was released by ISRO recently.
The database covers landslide-vulnerable regions in 17 states and 2 UTs of India in the Himalayas and Western Ghats.
The database includes three types of landslide inventory – seasonal, event-based and route-wise for the 1998-2022 period.
The seasonal inventory contains a pan-India landslide database corresponding to the 2014 and 2017 rainy season in India.
The event-based inventory contains details of some of the major triggering events such as Kedarnath and Kerala disasters, and the Sikkim earthquakes as well as a few large valley-blocking landslides.
Landslides are among the main natural catastrophes, which cause major problems in mountainous terrain by killing hundreds of people every year besides damaging property, disrupting transportation and blocking communication links.
Landslides have led to massive environmental damages such as an increase in sediment discharge due to soil erosion and loss of human lives every year.
India, a country with varied physiographic and climatic conditions, frequently faces the vagaries of landslide disasters.
Approximately 0.42 million sq. km or 12.6% of land area, excluding snow-covered area, is prone to landslide hazards.
The majority of landslides are triggered by variability in rainfall patterns, while sporadic events such as very heavy rainfall outside the monsoon period (Kedarnath event of 2013) and earthquakes (Sikkim earthquake) cause significant disruption to livelihood and infrastructure.
The Northernmost Indian states, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, are the worst affected states by the landslides disasters as the majority of the territory falls within the Himalayas.
Many districts of these states have high population densities, and major pilgrimage routes or major tourism spots are exposed and affected by landslides
Out of this, 0.18 million sq. km falls in North East Himalaya, including Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalaya; 0.14 million sq. km falls in North West Himalaya (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir); 0.09 million sq. km in the Western Ghats and Konkan hills (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra) and 0.01 million sq. km in Eastern Ghats of Aruku area in Andhra Pradesh (www.gsi.gov.in).
In India, landslides mostly occur in the monsoon season. The Himalayas and Western Ghats are highly susceptible to mass movements due to hilly topography and heavy rainfall
The Northwest Himalayas contribute 66.5% of landslides in India, followed by the Northeast Himalayas 18.8% and the Western Ghats 14.7%.
Landslide exposure analysis was carried out in the mountainous areas. Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand state which has the highest landslide density in India is also having the highest exposure to the total population, working population, literacy and number of houses.
Of the top 10 districts in the country which is most exposed to landslides, 2 districts are in Sikkim- South and North Sikkim.
“Although the North Eastern states have many landslides yearly, they are not particularly vulnerable to them in terms of socioeconomic factors due to their lower population density and wide unoccupied mountain areas,” the atlas says.
A total of 61 people had died and 18 were injured after a massive landslide hit the construction site of Tupul railway station in Manipur in June last year.
The Tupul station is situated in the Noney district. But Noney district does not figure in the list of 147 districts most exposed to landslides in the country.