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Topic : Landslides in India

GS-1 & GS-3 Mains : Geography & Disaster Management 

Revision Notes

Landslides: A Geological Hazard

  • Landslides are the movement of rock, soil, or debris down a slope (triggered by gravity).
  • They occur in areas with:
    • Steep slopes (hills, mountains)
    • Cracks, weaknesses in the rock/soil
    • High water saturation (heavy rain)

Vulnerability in India

  • 13% of India’s landmass (0.42 million sq km) is landslide-prone (GSI).
  • 42% (0.18 million sq km) lies in the hilly Northeast region.
  • This region is also earthquake-prone, further increasing landslide risk.

Causes of Landslides

  • Natural Causes:
    • Heavy Rainfall: Increases pore pressure and soil weight, making it unstable.
    • Erosion: Removes cohesive elements (clay, vegetation) that bind soil particles.
    • Earthquakes: Ground shaking loosens rocks and soil, triggering landslides.
    • Volcanic Eruptions: Ash and debris overload slopes, while tremors cause instability.
  • Anthropogenic Causes:
    • Deforestation: Vegetation cover prevents landslides by holding soil and slowing debris flow.
    • Encroachment: Construction in vulnerable areas increases landslide risk.
    • Uncontrolled Excavation: Mining and quarrying activities destabilize slopes.
    • Climate Change: Alters precipitation patterns and increases extreme weather events.

Measures Taken in India

  • The Disaster Management Act, 2005 provides a legal framework for managing landslides.
  • The National Landslide Risk Management Strategy (2019) focuses on hazard mapping, monitoring, and early warning systems.
  • National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) issues guidelines for landslide hazard management.
  • National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) provides training and support to disaster management authorities.
  • Early Warning Systems: Improved weather prediction (e.g., Ensemble Prediction System) helps anticipate landslides.

Looking Ahead

  • Balancing development needs with landslide risk management is crucial.
  • Sustainable practices are essential to prevent exceeding the carrying capacity of mountainous areas.
  • NDMA collaborates with GSI and other agencies to mitigate and manage landslide risks.


Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-climate/northeast-mizoram-landslides-cyclone-remal-9358218/


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