Rudraprayag and Tehri Garhwal districts of Uttarakhand have the highest landslide density and landslide risk exposure in the country, according to satellite data captured by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The findings emerged from the latest risk assessment done by scientists from the Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC), who published a list as part of the Landslide Atlas of India. The team released a list of 147 most landslide-vulnerable districts in 17 states and two Union Territories. It included all 13 districts of Uttarakhand that vary from each other in terms of vulnerability to landslides.
As per PTI, while Rudraprayag and Tehri districts are ranked first and second in the table, Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar figure at the bottom at 146th and 147th, respectively.
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.
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Further, as per NRSC, apart from Uttarakhand, among the 10 most landslide-prone districts, four are in flood-prone areas of Kerala, two in Jammu and Kashmir and two in Sikkim. In fact, after the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, which has seen large-scale development in the past few years, has high landslide density.
Thrissur (Kerala), Rajouri (Jammu & Kashmir), Palakkad (Kerala), Poonch (Jammu & Kashmir), Malappuram (Kerala), south and eastern districts of Sikkim and Kozhikode (Kerala) were listed among the 10 worst-affected districts, apart from the two Uttarakhand districts.
In the Landslide Atlas of India, the NRSC said that this is the first time, the NRSC scientists did a risk assessment on the basis of 80,000 landslides recorded between 1998 and 2022 in 147 districts in 17 states and two Union Territories to build a “Landslide Atlas” of the country. The atlas used satellite data of ISRO to map all seasonal and event-based landslides like the Kedarnath disaster in 2013 and landslides triggered due to the Sikkim earthquake in 2011.
The new study recorded landslide hot spots between 2000 and 2017, with a maximum of 12,385 in Mizoram, followed by 11,219 in Uttarakhand, 7,280 in Jammu and Kashmir and 1,561 in Himachal Pradesh. Among the southern states, the most number of landslide hot spots have been recorded in Kerala (6,039).
The scientists stated India is among the top four countries with the highest landslide risk, with over 12.6 per cent of land area prone to hazard, excluding snow-covered areas.
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