The town of Joshimath in Uttarakhand has been officially declared as a landslide subsidence zone, and the state and central government are working to evacuate families from the area as the ground in the town are sinking, causing several security risks.
Houses have developed cracks, due to land subsidence, or subsidence of the earth’s surface due to geological or human-induced causes. While families are being evacuated from Joshimath following the sinking crisis, experts believe that other cities in Uttarakhand may also suffer a similar fate.
According to experts, some towns and cities in Uttarakhand may suffer the same fate as Joshimath and may subside slightly underground, causing extensive structural damage and loss of homes for thousands of people. These cities are Uttarkashi and Nainital.
Towns that could suffer a similar fate to Joshimath include Karnaprayag and Gopeshwar in Chamoli district (where Joshimath is located); Ghansali in Tehri district; Munsiari and Dharchula in the Pithoragarh district; Bhatwari in the Uttarkashi district; Pauri; Nainital and several other towns, according to experts.
Other India cities at risk of sinking
Nainital, Uttarkashi and Champawat are extremely vulnerable to earthquakes due to the reactivation of fault lines and the tremendous increase in population and construction activities, India Today quoted Dr. Kotlia as saying.
According to a study published last year, Nainital is located in the Kumaun Lesser Himalayas and half of the rubble covering the city has been generated by landslides, making it unstable. Dr. Bahadur Singh Kotlia, professor of geology at Kumaun University, warned that Nainital’s soil may also sink.
As reported by India Today, Dr Kotlia said “What we are seeing in Joshimath, can be replicated very easily and soon in Nainital, Uttarkashi and Champawat, which are highly prone to seismic activity, fault reactivation and being hit by a massive increase in population and construction activities. The base of these cities is very poor, which makes them very vulnerable.”
Cities facing land subsidence in India
These are the Indian cities that will bear the brunt of climate change as they fear rising sea levels. While these are initial projections at current rates, if trends continue by the end of the century, these coastal cities will plunge up to three feet underwater.
Mumbai the most populous city in India and the seventh in the world has been severely affected by climate change in recent years. The IPCC report suggests that Mumbai could sink up to 1.9 feet underwater if current weather trends continue. In Mumbai, about 998 buildings and 24 km of roads will be affected by possible sea level rise by 2050.
Chennai is likely to sink almost 1.87 feet underwater due to climate change, according to the report, disrupting life in the city in a major way. some parts of Chennai could face some erosion of the coastline by 2050. Experts said that as the oceans warm, the water expands and sea levels rise, which could push seawater onto land, inundating parts of the coastline.
Mangalore in Karnataka could plunge 1.87 feet underwater, based on the current rise in water levels. Mangalore is the seventh largest container port in India. Mangalore in Karnataka is at higher risk of flooding from rising sea levels due to melting glaciers than coastal cities like Mumbai and New York, data released by NASA shows.
Gujarat’s Kandla is one of the major ports on the west coast. Gujarat’s Kutch district is in grave danger of sinking 1.87 feet under water.
Some other cities in India that are likely to meet the same fate as the cities mentioned above are Tuticorin (1.9 ft), Khidirpur (0.49 ft), Paradip (1.93 ft), Okha 1.96 (ft), Visakhapatnam (1.77 feet), and Tuticorin (1.9 feet).
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