Vulnerability of the North-EAST to the Landslide”

Vulnerability of the North-EAST to the Landslide”

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details of Vulnerability of the North-EAST to the Landslide. This topic is relevant in the “Disaster and Management” section of the UPSC- CSE Exam.

Why in the news?

Following cyclone Remal, severe storms and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall led to the loss of at least 31 lives and left numerous individuals injured across three northeastern states.

The vulnerability of landslides to cyclones:

  • Heavy rainfall: Cyclones bring heavy and sustained rainfall, which can saturate soils and destabilise slopes, triggering landslides. The search results indicate that a single day’s rainfall usually does not trigger landslides, but a prolonged spell of heavy rain over a week or ten days can be dangerous.
  • Slope instability: Cyclones can exacerbate slope instability, especially in regions with fragile, soft, and weathered rock formations along steep slopes, which are common in the North-Eastern Region of India. Anthropogenic factors like slope modification for construction and lack of proper drainage can further contribute to slope instability.
  • Disruption of infrastructure: Landslides triggered by cyclones can damage critical infrastructure like roads, railways, and communication networks, disrupting relief and recovery efforts. This is a major challenge in the North-Eastern Region, where landslides frequently disrupt connectivity along road corridors and railway tracks.
  • Cascading effects: Cyclone-induced landslides can lead to secondary disasters, such as the breaching of landslide dams, causing flash floods and further damage downstream.

Effects of landslide:

  • Loss of Life and Property: Landslides cause loss of life and property, burying houses, roads, and other infrastructure, leading to fatalities and injuries.
  • Environmental Damage: Landslides can alter natural watercourses, leading to flooding and erosion and damaging ecosystems by destroying vegetation and wildlife habitats.
  • Infrastructure Damage: Landslides can damage or destroy buildings, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, disrupting daily life and economic activities.
  • Displacement and Loss of Property: Landslides can force communities to evacuate and result in the loss of homes and property, leading to displacement and economic hardship.
  • Economic Impacts: By disrupting transportation systems, causing delays and increased transportation costs, damaging buildings and infrastructure, and leading to costly repairs.
  •  Social Impacts: By displacing communities, leading to social disruption and psychological stress, and disrupting access to healthcare and education, leading to long-term social consequences.

Challenges  in combating landslides:


  • Highly seismic zone: The region falls under the highest seismic risk zone (Zone V) in India’s seismic zoning map, making it highly susceptible to earthquakes that can trigger landslides. Heavy monsoon rainfall (up to 600 mm in 2 days) further exacerbates the problem.
  • The physiography and local geology of the NER plays a important role in the failure of rock formations and overburden, leading to landslide hazards. Fragile, soft, and weathered rock formations along steep slopes make the terrain highly prone to landslides. Anthropogenic factors, such as slope modification for construction and lack of proper drainage along roads, further contribute to the challenge.
  • Landslides in the NER can be shallow and affect urban areas for short durations or deep-seated, disrupting transportation networks for longer periods. The region experiences a frequent disruption of connectivity along road corridors and railway tracks, causing shortages in the supply of essential commodities and inconvenience to travellers.
  • To optimize disaster management and reduce the impact of landslides, measures such as retrofitting clinics, capacity building for risk management, and implementing disaster risk reduction policies are crucial. 


A multi-pronged approach is To mitigate the effects of cyclones:


  • Hazard Mapping and Land Use Planning: Using hazard mapping to predict vulnerable areas affected by cyclones based on wind speed, areas affected, flooding frequency, etc. and Implementing effective land use planning to avoid key activities and settlements in the most vulnerable areas.
  •  Engineered Structures and Retrofitting: Designing public infrastructure to withstand wind forces based on hazard mapping and Retrofitting non-engineered structures by constructing steep-slope roofs, anchoring strong posts, planting trees to break wind forces, and repairing shelters.
  • Cyclone Sheltering and Flood Management: Constructing cyclone shelters at national, state and regional levels considering population density, transportation, communication, and topography and Designing well-planned drainage systems to mitigate flooding with participation from the government and local community.
  • Ecosystem-based Measures: Improving vegetation cover to increase water infiltration capacity by planting trees in rows, coastal shelterbelt plantations, and mangrove plantations and Constructing saline barriers along the coast to protect habitation, agricultural crops, and installations.
  •  Early Warning Systems and Capacity Building: Developing state-of-the-art early warning dissemination systems for timely evacuation to safe shelters and Capacity building of the community to manage risk mitigation assets like cyclone shelters and saline embankments.
  • Awareness and Participation: Initiating public awareness programs to increase community participation in the mitigation process and Ensuring the participation of the aged, differently abled, women and children in cyclone risk mitigation efforts.


Download plutus ias current affairs eng med 29th May 2024


Prelims based question:

Q. Consider the following statements with respect to the Landslide:

  1. Landslides involve the sinking of the ground due to underground material movement.
  2. India is among the top five countries globally prone to landslides.
  3. Variations in rainfall patterns represent the primary cause of landslides in India.

Which of the statements above is accurate?

  1. 2, 3 only
  2. 1,2 only
  3. 1, 3 only
  4. All of the above


Answer: A


Mains based Question

  1. Several regions of India have been facing a calamity caused by landslides. Discuss how India combats the calamity region-wise.


No Comments

Post A Comment