All 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh prone to landslides: ISRO study : The Tribune India

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All 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh prone to landslides: ISRO study

All 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh prone to landslides: ISRO study


Tribune News Service

Shubhadeep Choudhury

New Delhi, March 5

All 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh have figured on a list prepared by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of locations prone to landslides where socio-economic reasons play a key role for the onset of the calamity.

The Landslide Atlas of India was released by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman S Somnath on February 28 at the “National Meet on Disaster Risk Management — Trends & Technologies” held at Hyderabad. The NRSC, one of the centres of ISRO, manages data from aerial and satellite sources.

Key findings of report

  • According to the ISRO study, socio-economic parameters responsible for the landslides include total population, number of households, roads and livestock
  • The Landslide Atlas of India, released by ISRO recently, contains a list of 147 districts in 17 states and two Union Territories for their exposure to landslides in terms of key socio-economic parameters
  • Districts of Mandi, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Chamba, Solan, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla, Kangra, Una, Sirmaur and Lahaul & Spiti figure on the list

The atlas contains a list of 147 districts in 17 states and two UTs for their exposure to landslides in terms of key socio-economic parameters.

The Himachal disricts in the list are Mandi (ranked 16), Hamirpur (rank 25), Bilaspur (rank 30), Chamba (rank 32), Solan (rank 37), Kinnaur (rank 46), Kullu (rank 57), Shimla (rank 61), Kangra (rank 62), Una (rank 70), Sirmaur (rank 88) and Lahaul & Spiti (rank 126).

According to ISRO, socio-economic parameters (SEP) include total population, number of households, roads and livestock. Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand, which has the highest landslide density in India, is also having highest exposure to total population, working population, literacy and number of houses, it was pointed by the NRSC in the atlas.

Contribution of each exposure element for the top 10 landslide-exposed districts is shown in bar diagram in the atlas. The chart showed population exposure and livestock exposure as the two major contributions for landslides. Two of these districts fall in Uttarakhand (Rudraprayag and Tehri Garhwal), two in Kashmir (Rajouri and Pulwama), four in Kerala (Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode) and two in Sikkim (south and east district).

Noting that landslides from remote steep slopes render people living downhill vulnerable, the atlas says identification of slow-moving mountain slopes is possible now due to time series measurements from space using microwave satellite data and the synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technique, which can detect displacement at the millimetre level.

“The availability of open-source Sentinel-1 data has revolutionised the study involving landslide kinematics and predicting the time of failure. However, identifying accelerating trends, demarcation of the release area, and predicting flow path after failure initiation continue to pose a challenge,” notes the atlas.

According to the landslide atlas, the Northwest Himalayas contribute 66.5% of landslides in India, followed by the Northeast Himalayas (18.8%) and the Western Ghats (14.7%).

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