The recent phenomenon of land subsidence in parts of Joshimath and nearby areas in the Chamoli district exposed the region’s vulnerability.
But this is not limited to Chamoli, as a new report by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has found that all 13 districts of Uttarakhand are vulnerable to landslides.
147 districts are at risk of landslides
According to a table published as part of the Landslide Atlas of India by the Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre, based on satellite data inputs provided by the ISRO, a total of 147 districts across India are at risk due to landslides.
Out of this, Rudraprayag and Tehri districts have the highest landslide density and landslide risk exposure in the country.
The famous Kedarnath temple is located in Rudraprayag. It was the epicentre of a massive natural disaster that killed thousands in June 2013.
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Chamoli district among top 20
The Chamoli district, where Joshimath is grappling with a land-subsidence crisis, has been ranked 19th, Uttarkashi 21st, Pauri 23rd, Dehradun 29th, Bageshwar 50th, Champawat 65th, Nainital 68th, Almora 81st and Pithoragarh 86th.
Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar figure at the bottom at 146th and 147th, respectively.
It is not just Uttarakhand; all 12 districts of neighbouring Himachal Pradesh are also prone to landslides.
Other top landslide-prone districts
Apart from the two Uttarakhand districts, Rajouri and
Pulwama in Jammu Kashmir, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode in Kerala, and South Sikkim, East Sikkim in Sikkim are other high-risk districts.
Around 0.18 million sq km of the landslide-prone areas in the country are in North East Himalayas, including Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalaya.
The database includes three types of landslide inventory – seasonal, event-based and route-wise for the 1998-2022 period.
Most landslides in Mizoram
The Landslide Atlas of India, which looked into data from 1998-2022, found that the maximum number of landslides, 12,385, were recorded in Mizoram.
Uttarakhand followed it at 11,219, Tripura at 8,070, Arunachal Pradesh at 7,689, and Jammu and Kashmir at 7,280.
This was followed by Kerala, which saw 6,039, Manipur at 5,494 and Maharashtra recorded 5,112 incidents of landslides.
Satellite data reconstruction of Kedarnath floods
On the 2013 Kedarnath floods, the atlas stated that satellite data reconstructed the chain of events and found that the reactivation of a large old landslide damaged a river training wall that resulted in the flooding of Kedarnath town on 16 June 2013. The twin events buried Kedarnath town with debris brought down from terminal and lateral moraines of Chorabari and Companion glaciers and changed the course of Mandakini river from west of Kedarnath town to east of it.
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