Eastern Joshimath Records Subsidence of 10cm Every Year, Finds Study


Edited By: Richa Mukherjee

Last Updated: January 20, 2023, 10:15 IST

Joshimath, a town of nearly 23,000 people in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district at a height of over 6,150 feet, is slowly sinking, said experts (PTI Photo)

Joshimath, a city of almost 23,000 individuals in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district at a peak of over 6,150 ft, is slowly sinking, stated specialists (PTI Photo)

Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami stated “65% to 70% of Joshimath residents were leading a normal life and only 30% have been affected by land subsidence

In the latest development to the Joshimath crisis, satellite imagery of the Uttarakhand town between 2018 and 2022 has revealed that the eastern part of it witnessed maximum subsidence with an average displacement of around 10 cm per year.

The analysis undertaken by remote sensing and landslide experts of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS or National Centre for Scientific Research, which is the French state research organization and largest fundamental science agency in Europe), Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre Strasbourg (School and Observatory for Earth Sciences, an institution under the supervisory authority of the University of Strasbourg France and CNRS) and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece was released on Thursday and pointed to the fact that the eastern part of the town, designated as unit A, has seen maximum sliding of 10 cm per year. The western side, designated as B followed suit with an annual displacement of 3 cm.

According to the research, the sliding in the lower part of the town had accelerated since January 2021 while the upper part town of the town marked as D has shown the least displacement of 2 cm per year.

“It appears that two zones (eastern and western parts of Joshimath designated as A and B in the satellite image) have been continuously moving in the past four years (2018-2022) on the downhill part of the slope. The surface displacement rates are higher in the eastern part of the slope (unit A) with a value exceeding 10 cm per year for the period 2018 to 2022,” the analysis paper stated.

It additional acknowledged that it was the acceleration within the jap, western, and decrease components of Joshimath city since December 22 which compelled authorities to relocate individuals.

Notably, an analogous discovering was put forth by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which stated that subsidence in Joshimath elevated quickly, particularly within the 13-day interval between December 27 and January eight when the holy city witnessed a subsidence of 5.four cm.

Another report launched by IIRS titled “Surface Deformation of Joshimath, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand Observed through Space-based Radar Interferometry” stated that Joshimath witnessed a subsidence of as much as 6.6 cm between July 2020 and March 2022.

Meanwhile, Joshimath on Friday morning acquired heavy snowfall.

70% Joshimath Residents Leading Normal Lives

During his assembly with house minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Wednesday, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami stated “65% to 70% of Joshimath residents were leading a normal life and only 30% have been affected by land subsidence”.

“Some people, through Twitter and other social media platforms, are projecting the situation in Uttarakhand as extremely scary; they are saying the entire state is under threat. I want to clarify that the situation is not like this,” the CM stated. He added, “Each year, people in lakhs and crores come to the state and a wrong message should not go to them. Therefore, I would like to request people sitting in different parts of the country not to spread a wrong and misleading message.” he added.

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