Joshimath at Risk of Sinking: Satellite Images Reveal Ground Subsidence
The National Remote Sensing Center (NSRC) of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has released satellite images of the city of Joshimath, Uttarakhand, which reveal a preliminary land subsidence analysis that indicates that the entire city is in danger of completely sinking. The images have been captured by the Cartosat-2S satellite, and the NRSC, situated in Hyderabad, has published satellite photos of the sinking areas. This is a very serious situation and the government of Uttarakhand is taking necessary steps to tackle this issue.
Satellite Images Reveal Ground Subsidence
The released satellite imagery reveals that the entire city of Joshimath is sinking. The images show massive cracks and fissures in almost all houses, major hotels, and roads. More than 700 families are impacted, and leaning buildings can be seen across the town. In the revealed images, the entire town, including the Narasimha temple and the Army’s helipad, has been designated a sensitive zone. The Joshimath-Auli road is also at risk of sinking, according to the satellite pictures.
Rescue Operations Launched
Based on the preliminary information from ISRO, the Uttarakhand government is launching rescue operations in dangerous areas. The government is prioritizing the relocation of residents from these locations to safer areas. Joshimath is situated on the central slopes of the hill, bordered by the rivers Dhauliganga and Alaknanda on the opposite sides, and Karmanasa and Dhaknala to the west and east, respectively.
Preliminary Reports by ISRO
According to the analysis of the preliminary reports by ISRO, Joshimath sank by 8.9 cm between April and November 2022, during which time ground subsidence was sluggish. However, the rate of soil subsidence accelerated between December 27, 2022, and January 8, 2023. The town sank by 5.4 cm in only 12 days. As a result of the terrain subsiding, fissures have emerged in the houses and roads. The Joshimath-Auli road is also at risk of sinking, and people living in the city are urged to leave their houses and relocate to a safer place.
Effect of Urbanization
Urbanization is one of the main causes of this problem. Due to its effects on natural water drainage, slopes, and water flow, urbanization has traditionally made these problems worse. The District Disaster Management Department reports that 561 homes in Joshimath have developed fractures as a result of the ongoing ground subsidence. According to reports, around 66 families have reportedly left Joshimath so far.
The Uttarakhand government is holding meetings over the frightening situation in the Himalayan town. The satellite images released by ISRO reveal a serious ground subsidence problem in Joshimath, and the government is taking necessary steps to tackle this issue. The residents of the town are urged to relocate to safer areas and the government is prioritizing the relocation of residents from dangerous areas. Urbanization is one of the main causes of this problem and it is important to take measures to prevent further ground subsidence in the future.
Month: Current Affairs - January, 2023
Category: States Current Affairs
Topics: ISRO • Joshimath • Narasimha temple • Natural Disaster • NRSC • Satellite imagery • Uttarakhand Ground subsidence
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