The slipping of masses of rocks, earth or debris downwards on the mountain slopes or banks of the rivers is called a landslide.

The occurrence of landslides in mountainous areas is increasing day by day.


Landslide prone areas

The landslides are a common feature in Himalaya, Western ghats and in river valleys.

The state of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and all the seven states of North East India, are most vulnerable to landslide.

In southern India Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala bear the brunt of landslides.


Causes of landslides

[1] Heavy rain

Heavy rain is the main cause of landslides.

[2] Deforestation

Deforestation is another major cause of landslides.

Tree, bushes and grasses keep the soil particles compact.

Mountain slope looses their protective cover by felling of trees.

The rain water flows on such slopes with unimpeded speed.

[3] Earthquakes and volcanic explosions

Earthquake is a common feature in the Himalaya.

Tremors destabilize the mountains and the rocks tumble downwards.

Volcanic explosions also trigger landslides in the mountainous areas.

[4] Building of roads

During the process of the construction of road, a large amount of rocks and debris has to be removed.

This process dislodges the rock structure and changes the angle of slopes. Consequently landslides are triggered.

[5] Shifting agriculture

In the North Eastern part of India, the number and frequency of landslides has increased due to the practice of shifting agriculture.

[6] Construction of houses and other buildings

In building processes large amount of debrises created.

This causes the landslides.