Soldiers in Kinnaur landslide rescue | Photo credit: PTI
- In July, the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh experienced a devastating landslide as heavy boulders rolled down a hill after multiple landslides and struck a bridge in Kinnaur district.
- In October, Kerala experienced continued rainfall, resulting in devastating flooding and landslides statewide.
New Delhi: Gigantic landslides and the devastation they cause appear to have increased in India in recent years. Like all other natural disasters, the cause of landslides can also be attributed to climate change in recent decades. At the end of the year, we take a look at the landslides that have shaken the lives of thousands of people across the country.
Landslides in Maharashtra
In June, as the rains hit Mumbai and the Konkan coast, multiple landslides, wall and bridge collapses were reported in Thane and the neighboring district of Palghar in Maharashtra. After a residential building collapsed in Malad West in Mumbai, at least 11 people died, including eight children, and eight others were injured.
Two collapses occurred this year during the very heavy rainfall in Mumbai. A wall has collapsed on slums in the Bharat Nagar area of Chembur due to a landslide. In another incident, the ground and a residential structure collapsed in the Vikhroli district of Mumbai. A total of 20 people lost their lives in these two tragic incidents.
During the last half of July, massive landslides claimed the lives of 86 people in Taliye village and 11 villagers were killed in Sakharsutarwadi, Raigad district. The rescue operation in the landslide-affected village of Taliye in Maharashtra’s Raigad has officially ended, with 31 missing people being declared dead in accordance with due process.
Landslides in Karnataka
In July, a massive landslide occurred between Mangalore Junction and Thokur Station in Karnataka. The incident disrupted train traffic on the Konkan railway line. The landslide was believed to have been caused by the heavy rains that had been seen in the area over the past few days.
Landslides in Himachal Pradesh
In July, the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh experienced a devastating landslide as heavy boulders rolled down a hill after multiple landslides and struck a bridge in Kinnaur district, killing nine people and injuring three others. The landslides occurred on the Sangla-Chitkul road near the village of Batseri where heavy boulders fell on a tempo traveler carrying 11 people.
On August 11, a 30-seat Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus, a truck and four cars were among the vehicles destroyed by a massive landslide in Kinnaur. According to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), 28 people lost their lives in the devastating landslide.
Landslides in Uttarakhand
A bus carrying 14 passengers narrowly avoided a fatal crash in August after a massive landslide was reported in Nainital, Uttarakhand. The landslide in the area was caused by heavy rains.
Landslides caused by heavy rains have closed the Rishikesh-Devprayag, Rishikesh-Tehri and Dehradun-Mussoorie roads in several places. After the collapse of the Rani Pokhari bridge on the Dehradun-Rishikesh highway, a few cars were washed away.
Following a landslide near the village of Jumma in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, at least four people were killed, including three children, and three others were missing.
Landslides in Kerala
In October, Kerala experienced continued rainfall, resulting in devastating flooding and landslides statewide. Unprecedented rains have caused waterlogging, landslides and massive property losses in many parts of Kerala. The landslides affected several homes and businesses across the state.
The death toll in Kerala as a result of heavy rains and landslides stood at 35. Idukki and Kottayam districts were worst affected.
India is working on a Landslide Early Warning System (LEWS) that will help save lives and prevent property damage. According to the Department of Earth Sciences, the Geological Survey of India is testing the LEWS system in the hilly districts of Darjeeling, West Bengal, and Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. The Geological Survey’s newly designed regional LEWS, which is being developed in collaboration with its UK counterpart under the auspices of the National Environmental Research Council’s LANDSLIP project, has been based on precipitation threshold values since 2017. Landslides have become more frequent in the country, mainly due to excessive rainfall during the monsoon season in Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Kerala. If this model proves effective, GSI says, it will dramatically reduce the impact of landslides on human lives and livelihoods.