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ISRO releases Landslide Atlas of India: Identifies Landslide Hotspots and Risks

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ISRO releases Landslide Atlas of India: Identifies Landslide Hotspots and Risks

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A landslide is the movement of rock, earth, or debris down a slope or hillside. It is a natural disaster that can occur when the stability of a slope is compromised, and the materials on it start to move rapidly, often triggered by heavy rainfall, earthquakes, or human activities such as construction and mining. Landslides can cause significant damage to infrastructure, buildings, and human lives, and they can also trigger secondary hazards such as floods and tsunamis in certain situations. Landslides can occur in various forms, including rockfalls, debris flows, mudflows, and avalanches, depending on the materials involved and the slope conditions.

ISRO recently released the Landslide Atlas of India identifying landslide hotspots in the country.
ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre created a database of landslide-prone regions of India based on events during 1998 – 2022.
In addition to aerial images, high-resolution satellite images captured using ResourceSat-1 and 2, etc., were used to study the landslides.
The pan-India database classifies landslides into – seasonal (2014, and 2017 monsoon seasons), event-based and route-based (2000 – 2017).
A landslide is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope.
They are a type of mass wasting, which denotes any downward movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity. They generally occur in clay-rich soil.
In India the entire Himalayan tract, North-east India, Western Ghats, the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu and Konkan areas are landslide-prone
India is among the top five landslide-prone countries globally, where many death is reported in a year due to a landslide event.

Some of the notable landslides in India in recent years include:
India has experienced several landslides in recent years, particularly during the monsoon season, which typically lasts from June to September. Landslides occur when slopes of hills or mountains become unstable due to excessive rainfall, seismic activity, or other factors, causing large masses of rock, soil, and debris to slide downhill.

Uttarakhand Landslide (2021) – In August 2021, a massive landslide occurred in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, killing over 30 people and leaving many others missing. The landslide was triggered by heavy rainfall and caused a large amount of debris to fall into the Rishiganga River.

Kerala Landslides (2020) – In August 2020, several landslides occurred in the Idukki district of Kerala, killing over 50 people and causing widespread damage to property and infrastructure. The landslides were caused by heavy rainfall and resulted in the displacement of thousands of people.

Himachal Pradesh Landslide (2019) – In August 2019, a landslide occurred in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, killing six people and causing significant damage to property and infrastructure. The landslide was triggered by heavy rainfall and blocked a major highway, cutting off several towns and villages.

Maharashtra Landslide (2019) – In July 2019, a landslide occurred in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, killing over 30 people and causing significant damage to property and infrastructure. The landslide was triggered by heavy rainfall and caused a large amount of debris to fall on a village, burying many homes and buildings.

These landslides highlight the need for better infrastructure and disaster management systems in India, particularly in areas prone to landslides and other natural disasters.
Source :IE

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