Landslide Atlas of India

Mains Marks Booster     5th August 2023        


  • The Landslide Atlas of India has been released by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) under the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • NRSC is responsible for remote sensing satellite data acquisition, processing, archiving, and dissemination.

Preparation of the Atlas

  • Scientists conducted a risk assessment based on 80,000 landslides recorded between 1998 and 2022 in 147 districts across 17 states and two Union Territories.
  • The atlas utilized satellite data from ISRO to map seasonal and event-based landslides, including major incidents like the Kedarnath disaster in 2013 and landslides triggered by the Sikkim earthquake in 2011.
  • The pan-India landslide database categorized landslides into seasonal (2014 and 2017 monsoon seasons), event-based, and route-based (2000-2017).
Preparation of the Atlas

Key Highlights of the Atlas

  • Uttarakhand, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh reported the highest number of landslides between 1998 and 2022.
  • Mizoram recorded the highest number of landslide events, with 12,385 in the past 25 years, out of which 8,926 occurred in 2017 alone.
  • Uttarakhand followed with 11,219 landslides, and Kerala also reported a significant number. Recent land subsidence events in Joshimath highlighted Uttarakhand's vulnerability.
  • Districts with the highest landslide exposure are in Arunachal Pradesh (16), Kerala (14), Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir (13 each), Himachal Pradesh, Assam, and Maharashtra (11 each), Mizoram (8), and Nagaland (7).
  • Rudraprayag and Tehri Garhwal districts in Uttarakhand have the highest landslide density and risk exposure in the country.


  • Experts recommend halting all development and hydroelectric projects in Joshimath to prevent further environmental degradation.
  • An immediate plan is needed to relocate residents to safer locations, considering new variables and the changing geographical factors.
  • The town's drainage and sewer system requires comprehensive study and redevelopment as the current poor management leads to soil degradation.
  • Replantation, especially at vulnerable sites, is advised to improve soil capacity, requiring a coordinated effort between government, civil bodies, and military organizations such as the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
  • There's a need to enhance the coverage of the existing weather forecasting technology for improved local event predictions.
  • The government should prioritize scientific studies explaining the causes behind the current crisis and reconsider the pace and nature of development in the area.
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