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‘Landslide’ a disaster

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‘Landslide’ a disaster

Recently, the death toll in landslides in Manipur has risen to 29. Rescue work is hampered due to rain.

Landslide is defined as the sliding down of a large mass of rock, debris or soil down a slope.

About 12.6 percent of the Indian landmass is prone to landslides.

Landslide Prone Specific Areas:

  • Himalayas: Due to high seismic activity due to plate tectonic motion etc., and
  • Western Ghats: Due to more rainfall at one place, more pressure on hills etc.

Major causes of landslides:

  • Geological: Weak or fractured terrain or rock,
  • Terrain: Slopes where vegetation has been destroyed by fire or drought are more vulnerable to landslides,
  • Human activities: Deforestation, mining etc.

Steps taken by the government to control landslides

  • Landslide Early-Warning System (LEWS): Under the Landslip Project, warnings are given using Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • Landslide susceptibility maps have been prepared by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in different parts of the country.
  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has prepared guidelines for Landslide Hazard Zone.

Measures to control landslides

  • It is necessary to increase the forest cover in community land.
  • Additional water should be stored in the catchment areas to reduce the impact of flash floods and recharge the ground water table. Grazing of vegetation by animals should be limited.
  • Urbanization related activities (such as construction of dams or other commercial projects) need to be reduced.

Impact of landslide

  • It restricts the movement of people. Also, traffic gets disrupted on highways and railway lines.
  • There is loss of human life and infrastructure.
  • The reconstruction of infrastructure for the rehabilitation of the people causes financial burden.
  • Increases the risk of flooding.

Source – The Hindu

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