Joshimath sank 5.4 cm in just 12 days, ISRO satellite images show

Joshimath sank 5.4 cm in just 12 days, ISRO satellite images show

Joshimath in Uttarakhand is headed to a disaster. According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the town sank 5.4 cm in just 12 days – between December 27 and January 8.

The horrific discovery was made after ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) analysed satellite images.

Also read: Uttarakhand HC asks state govt to formulate robust plan for subsidence-hit Joshimath

While a slow subsidence (sinking of earth) was recorded between April and November last year, amounting to 9 cm in the period, a rapid subsidence event was triggered most possibly on January 2.

Affected areas

This happened in central Joshimath, in the region around an Army Helipad and a temple.

“The crown of the subsidence is located near the Joshimath-Auli road at a height of 2,180 metre,” ISRO report said.

Also read: Not just Joshimath, these towns in Uttarakhand are also on the brink

The pictures were taken from the Cartosat-2S satellite.

Joshimath ISRO satellite image
Source: ISRO

The sinking temple town, the gateway to pilgrimage sites like Badrinath, is on the verge of a disaster,

Each winter, the idol of Lord Badrinath is brought down from the Badrinath temple to the Vasudeva temple in Joshimath.

Joshi is also the gateway to the Sikh holy shrine Hemkund Sahib.

Huge cracks

Massive cracks have appeared in numerous buildings and roads. Some 4,000 people have so far been shifted to relief camps.

Also read: Explained: What is land subsidence, reason why Joshimath is sinking

According to the Uttarakhand government, 678 homes are in danger besides hotels and business establishments.

The satellite images show the crisis is presently confined to the central part of Joshimath town.

An analysis is on to identify landslide kinematics and the results will be further updated.

Reasons for crisis

Experts are blaming the situation on unplanned and chaotic infrastructure projects in the region, especially a power plant that involved blasts and drilling in the mountains.

Also read: Geophysical scientists to do subsurface physical mapping of sinking Joshimath

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said a committee will decide the rate for compensation to be paid to the affected families, keeping in mind the interests of stakeholders.

He has announced Rs 1.5 lakh to each family, calling it a temporary measure.

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