An analysis of the southern state’s heavy rainfall and landslide data not only shows its growing vulnerability to extreme weather events but also calls for protecting the ecologically fragile Western Ghats where indiscriminate human activities are likely to worsen the situation in the coming years. can.
Out of a total of 3,782 landslides in India between 2015 and 2022, the highest number of 2,239 were recorded in Kerala followed by West Bengal (376). Tamil Nadu (196), Karnataka (194) and Jammu and Kashmir (184).
The Ministry also informed that the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has carried out National Landslide Susceptibility Mapping (NLSM) of a total area of 4.3 lakh sq km (about 13% of the total geographical area of India) in various landslide prone states. The Union Territories where the largest 71,228 sq km sensitive areas fall in Arunachal Pradesh, followed by Himachal Pradesh at 42,108 sq km, Ladakh (UT) with 40,065 sq km, Uttarakhand 39,009 sq km and Karnataka 31,323 sq km. Other northeastern states in the list of top 10 vulnerable states include Assam (24,144 sq km). Manipur (23,250 sq km) and Meghalaya (22,601 sq km).
Data on NLSM shared by the ministry in a written reply to a question in Parliament Lok Sabha On Wednesday, this also indicates a high risk for landslides in the north-eastern states. Although the ministry has not directly attributed this to loss of forest cover, a comparative analysis of data from the latest India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 clearly shows the relationship between green cover loss of hill states and vulnerability to landslides. it shows.
Arunachal Pradesh recorded the largest forest cover loss (257 sq km) in 2021 compared to 2019, followed by Manipur (249 sq km), Nagaland (235 sq km), Mizoram (186 km) and Meghalaya (73 sq km). is the location of. Incidentally, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya figure in the list of top 10 states/UTs in terms of landslide prone areas as per NLSM.
Referring to the post-disaster investigation into the landslide, the ministry attributed the major landslides to “unprecedented high rainfall”. However, it also states, “Other important geo-factors such as terrain character, slope-forming material, geomorphology, land use/land-cover in different areas are the initial factors for the onset of landslides. Anthropogenic Reasons such as slope cuts in several unsafe slides, blockage of drains etc. have also been reported.”