Landslides are mass movements of soil or rock along mountain slopes caused by natural or man-made factors. Studies show that more than 12 percent of the land area in the country is susceptible to landslides. Landslides incidentally are the third most deadly natural disaster on earth with $400 billion being spent annually on landslide disaster management.
Causes for more frequent landslides in the Himalayas than in the Western Ghats
- The Himalayan range is one of the world’s newest tertiary fold mountains. The Himalayas were formed by the convergence of the Indian and Eurasian plates. The Himalayas are still growing and gaining height. The Himalayas are thus a tectonically active mountain chain. Tectonic movement raises the likelihood of earthquakes and landslides.
- The Western Ghats are a stable mountain chain much older than the Himalayas. The Western Ghats are on the stable Deccan plateau of the Indian plate, hence the Indian plate movement does not influence them.
- The Himalayas have high peaks, steep slopes, and copious rainfall and snowfall, increasing avalanche risk. The Western Ghats are degraded and denuded with a mild slope. On the leeward side of the mountain, there is no snow and minimal rain. So the Western Ghats have few landslides.
- Unplanned buildings in the Himalayas, shifting farming, industrial growth, and tourist influx have exacerbated landslide danger.
Thus, the Himalayas are more prone to landslides due to geology and anthropogenic factors. Afforestation, environmental education, and public awareness can help mitigate the effects of landslides in this area.This form is currently undergoing maintenance. Please try again later.