Joshimath declared landslide – subsidence zone

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Joshimath declared landslide-subsidence zone 

Recently, a Landslide situation has arisen in Joshimath. Man-made factors as well as geological factors are responsible for landslides in Joshimath.

  • Joshimath is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand at an altitude of about 6000 feet. It is the main transit route for Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib.
  • It is bounded by the Karmnasha in the west and the Dhaknala rivers in the east. Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers flow in the south of Joshimath.
  • The first case of subsidence in Joshimath was reported in the year 1976 in the report of the Mishra Commission.

Joshimath Sinking landslide

Geological factors responsible for subsidence

  • Joshimath is situated approx on Vaikrita Thrust (VT). It is a tectonic fault line. Also, this place is very close to the main geologic fault lines, Main Central Thrust (MCT) and Pandukeshwar Thrust (PT).
  • It falls in ‘Zone – V’ of the seismic zone map.
  • The area around it is covered by a thin layer of material with high weight. Due to this, there is a high risk of landslides at this place.
  • High snowfall and highly weathered gneissic rocks make the region vulnerable to landslides.
  • Heavy rainfall affects the stability of its slope.

Anthropogenic factors:

  • Unplanned construction and haphazard drainage system.
  • Other hydroelectric projects around Joshimath and Tapovan, including the Vishnugarh hydroelectric project, have put additional pressure on the weak slope.
  • An increase in ground seepage of surface water is a possible cause of landslides.

Source – The Hindu

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