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More Himalayan Towns In The Same Sinking Boat As Joshimath


According to experts, there are more villages in the Himalayan region that might sink like Joshimath.

Joshimath is sinking
More Himalayan Towns In The Same Sinking Boat As Joshimath | Here Is How These Places May Sink Too

Joshimath: No life boat supposedly can now save the sinking ship of Joshimath. The life in the picturesque town in the hills of Uttarakhand came to an abrupt end. Tears rolled down, locals sang songs as thousands bid adieu to their homes of several years. These cracks in several buildings have brought spotlight to the grave of land subsidence and how more villages and Himalayan towns are o the risk of sinking. The question loom, will there be more Joshimaths?

According to a report by Bloomberg, Joshimath is not the only town  that is at the risk of land subsidence. “The villages and townships in the northern part of Uttarakhand are located along the major active thrust zones within the Himalayas and are very sensitive because of the fragile ecosystem of the region,” reported Bloomeberg citing  Rajeev Upadhyay, professor of geology at the Kumaun University in Nainital.

joshimath sinking

Sinking town of Joshimath (File Photo)

“Many habitations, which are built on the debris of old landslides, are already under natural stress and man-made constructions are adding further stress to the region,” he said. “If you do a lot of excessive mechanical activities in the region, the land will be prone to slide. The whole area is vulnerable to subsidence.”

More Himalayan Towns To Sink

According to the report, there are few other Himalayan towns and villages that might as well be in the same boat as Joshimath. There are few more places that could be sinking too.


In the Uttarkashi district, homes at the Mastadi and Bhatwadi villages are also in danger. After the earthquake of 1991, Mastadi experienced landslides. Cracks that have already begun to show up in the houses are present throughout the entire district. Water started leaking from within the homes in 1995 and 1996, which is now extending the effects of the natural disaster.


Maroda, a village in Rudraparyag district of Uttarakhand, is also at risk of facing a similar situation. Some houses in the village have developed cracks due to the tunnel construction.


Located 82 km southwest of Chamoli, residents of Karnaprayag are a worried bunch after cracks were observed on some houses. According to a Hindustan Times report, more than 50 houses in the area have developed deep cracks, leaving residents with the fear of an impending disaster.


Known as the ‘last Indian village’ before the China border, Mana is a key military installation and is being linked with a national highway, as part of a project to improve connectivity between Hindu pilgrimage sites. Environmental groups have raised concern about the project saying the felling of trees in the wildlife-rich area will increase landslide risks, as per Bloomberg. 


The Tehri Garhwal district is a popular tourist spot and the site of India’s tallest dam and one of its largest hydroelectric power projects, the Tehri Dam. Cracks were reported in some houses in the district and locals urged the government to take action on Wednesday. Landslides were reported in villages adjacent to Tehri Lake and houses around the Chamba Tunnel reported cracks, according to ANI.


The hill town has a critical landing ground, important for locals as well for the military for moving troops and materials to the disputed Himalayan border, as per Bloomberg.

Concerns over land subsidence in Joshimath mounted on Friday as satellite images released by ISRO showed the Himalayan town sank 5.4 cm in 12 days while efforts to pull down an “unsafe” hotel that has developed cracks were in full swing.

ISRO releases images of land subsidence in the sinking town of Joshimath

Twenty-five more families were evacuated from subsidence-hit houses, taking the total number of such families to 185, according to the District Disaster Management Authority, Chamoli. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said the government’s biggest priority is to provide quick relief to the affected people and evacuate them to safety.

Published Date: January 14, 2023 1:25 PM IST

Updated Date: January 14, 2023 1:46 PM IST


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