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Landslide in Kodagu

  • 27 Aug 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, due to heavy rain, numbers of landslides occurred in many parts of India.

Key Points

  • Landslides:
    • A landslide is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope.
    • They are a type of mass wasting, which denotes any downward movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity.
    • The term landslide encompasses five modes of slope movement: falls, topples, slides, spreads, and flows.

  • Causes:
    • Slope movement occurs when forces acting downward (mainly due to gravity) exceed the strength of the earth materials that compose the slope.
    • Landslides are caused due to three major factors: geology, morphology, and human activity.
      • Geology refers to characteristics of the material. The earth or rock might be weak or fractured, or different layers may have different strengths and stiffness.
      • Morphology refers to the structure of the land. For example, slopes that lose their vegetation to fire or drought are more vulnerable to landslides.
        • Vegetation holds soil in place, and without the root systems of trees, bushes, and other plants, the land is more likely to slide away.
      • Human activity which include agriculture and construction increase the risk of a landslide.
  • Region:
    • Continent-wise, Asia suffers the maximum damages/losses due to landslides and within that, South-Asian nations are the worst sufferers including India which is one of the worst affected by landslides.
  • Mitigation:
    • Restriction on the construction and other developmental activities such as roads and dams in the areas prone to landslides.
    • Limiting agriculture to valleys and areas with moderate slopes.
    • Control on the development of large settlements in the high vulnerability zones.
    • Promoting large-scale afforestation programmes and construction of bunds to reduce the flow of water.
    • Terrace farming should be encouraged in the northeastern hill states where Jhumming (Slash and Burn/Shifting Cultivation) is still prevalent.

Source: TH

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