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Natural Disasters IN INDIA P. 3



A major landslide occurred in the midnight in a place called Lamari on the foot
path leading to Kailash Mansarover about 60 km away from Dharchula, in August
1998. Lamari is situated between Bendi and Malpa. The debris of this landslide
slipped into river Kali and blocked its flow. The water of the river spread over an
area of 1½ square km. Thus a lake was created in which the water was flowing.
Some pilgrims going to Kailash Mansarovar were resting here in this fateful night.

This landslide killed 60 pilgrims.

What is a Landslide ?

The slipping of masses of rocks, earth or debris downwards on the mountain
slopes or banks of the rivers is called a landslide. The occurance of landslides in
mountainous areas is increasing day by day. The impact of landslides on the people

in the mountains is clearly visible.

Landslide prone areas : The landslides are a common feature in Himalaya,
Western ghats and in river valleys. The state of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal
Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and all the seven states of North East India, are
most vulnerable to landslide. In southern India Mahrastra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
and Kerala bear the brunt of landslides.

Causes of landslides

1. Heavy rain : Heavy rain is the main cause of landslides.

2. Deforestation : Deforestation is another major cause of landslides. Tree,
brushes and grasses keep the soil particles compact. Mountain slope looses
their protective cover by felling of trees. The rain water flows on such slopes
with unempeded speed.

3. Earthquakes and volcanic explosions : Earthquake is a common feature
in the Himalaya. Tremors destabilize the mountains and the rocks tumble
downwards. Volcanic explosions also trigger landslides in the mountainous

4. Building of roads: Roads are built in mountainous areas for development.
During the process of the construction of road, a large amount of rocks and
debris has to be removed. This process dislodges the rock structure and

changes the angle of slopes. Consequently landslides are triggered.

5. Shifting agriculture : In the North Eastern part of India, the number and
frequency of landslides has increased due to the practice of shifting agriculture.

6. Construction of houses and other buildings : For giving shelter to the
ever-increasing population and promotion of tourism more and more house
and hotels are being built. In building processes large amount of dibrises

created. This causes the landslides.

Impact of landslide

(i) Degrading of environment : Landslides are degrading the environment of
mountains. Natural beauty is deminishing slowly and slowly.

(ii) Sources of water are drying up.

(iii) Flooding in rivers is incrasing.

(iv) Roads are blocked.

(v) Life and property are lost.

Measures to control landslides and to mitigate their impact

(i) Afforestation : Trees and brushes help in binding the soil particles.

(ii) New technology in road construction : Roads should be constructed in such
a way, that lesser amount of debrisses are generated.

(iii) Ban on quarrying of stones and mining of minerals.

(iv) Instead of exploitation of forests, they should be used scientifically.

(v) Permanent crops like orchards of fruits should replace the seasonal or annual

(vi) By controlling the surface flow of water, seepage of water should be minimised.

(vii) Retaining walls can be built of mountain slopes to stop land from slipping.

(viii) Hazard mapping should be done to locate areas commonly prone to

landslides. Building and construction activities may be banned in such areas.

 The slipping of masses of rocks, earth or debris downwards on the
mountain slopes or banks of rivers is called a landslide.
 During rainy season landslides are a common feature in Himalaya,

Western Ghat and deep river valleys.

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