Unplanned Growth – World’s mountains are facing risk of Landslides.

What happened recently in Joshimath

What happened recently in Joshimath is known to all of us. Unfortunately the same incident was reported in other areas also like tehri, Uttarkashi and most recently in Donda of Kashmir. 

But Joshimath is not alone, many hill-stations around the world are facing the same issue of landsliding.  

It’s a time to study what we never care about – “unplanned growth”?

Lack of Study:

After excellent advancement in infrastructural development technology,  we still do not have a clear understanding on how urbanization could affect slowly moving landslides happening around the world. 

Thus it is important to study and understand the urban growth and its impact on environment, peoples and community.

Latest Research on Landslides:

The team of international scientists decided to carry the study on the slowly moving landslide in Bukavu. Bukavu is a hill-station located at the shore of the lake  in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa.

Here is the finding of the study that can help in understanding the slow-landsliding and sequential catastrophic disasters in the mountain villages.

The co-founder of the study and a scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA, Alexander Handwerger said “For one of the first times, we were able to document a clear connection between the growth of a city and the acceleration of a slow-moving landslide,”.

He added that  “We think this is driven by changes in slope hydrology – the way that water flows into the ground there – and not the additional weight of the houses on top.”

Here is the full study report from NASA if you want to go in deep.

Research Findings:

The research found that the reasons for such incidence are rainfall, tectonic activities and urban development. But the most important factor is the water runoff.

The urban infrastructure on the mountain like roads, poor drainage system, storm drains and burst pipes can significantly alter water flow, soaking wet and causing mountains to become unstable.

Future Mission:

2024 will see the launch of a joint space mission by NASA-ISRO that will help provide even more details on these procedures.

The NASA-Indian Space Research Organization Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission will measure surface changes around the world to within a fraction of an inch of accuracy. 

Will be able to protect lives and property by better monitoring subtle motions associated with landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other natural hazards, scientists and policymakers.

Now leaving it up to the readers to discuss other solutions to deal with the landslide issue, we are hoping for good for the world mountain community.

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By Dr. Jignesh Makwana

Dr. Jignesh Makwana, Ph.D., is an Electrical Engineering expert with over 15 years of teaching experience in subjects such as power electronics, electric drives, and control systems. Formerly an associate professor and head of the Electrical Engineering Department at Marwadi University, he now serves as a product design and development consultant for firms specializing in electric drives and power electronics.