Natural Disasters

Kinnaur landslide exposes fragile Himachal landscape again

Increases in the number of construction projects in a sensitive region like the Himalayas would lead to accidents like landslides

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 11 August 2021
The site of the landslide in Kinnaur. Photo: @ITBP_official / Twitter
The site of the landslide in Kinnaur. Photo: @ITBP_official / Twitter The site of the landslide in Kinnaur. Photo: @ITBP_official / Twitter

Himachal Pradesh suffered a massive landslide August 11, 2021, which killed two persons while dozens were reported missing. The casualty figures could increase.

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said rescue teams were at work at the landslide site in Kinnaur district’s Nigulsari, trying to pull out survivors from under debris.

A number of battalions of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police were working frantically to locate survivors.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Jairam Thakur and assured him of all the help from the Union government.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also promised all possible help to the Himachal authorities.

The Himalayan state has always been at risk of landslides like other areas along the new-fold, relatively unstable mountains. Repeated landslide warnings have been sounded for Indian states and Union territories like Ladakh (the Kargil area), Himachal, Uttarakhand and Sikkim as well as for Nepal.   

Experts Down To Earth spoke to said the Himalayas were very fragile. The increase in construction projects in the range, including infrastructure such as four-laned roads could lead to disasters such as landslides, they said.

According to the Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority:

The hills and mountains of Himachal Pradesh are liable to suffer landslides during monsoons and also in high intensity earthquakes. The vulnerability of the geologically young and not so stable steep slopes in various Himalayan ranges, has been increasing at a rapid rate in the recent decade due to inappropriate human activity like deforestation, road cutting, terracing and changes in agriculture crops requiring more intense watering etc.

The Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council has classified the landslide proneness of the districts of Himachal Pradesh:

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