Purpose – It is observed that the slow onslaught disasters do not normally catch media attention as these often do not result in human casualties. Inadequate media attention results in insufficient rehabilitation support for the victims. The paper aims at highlighting the problem of ground subsidence in the Himalayan terrain together with the hardships of the victims. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on the detailed field investigations carried out by the author in the remote Himalayan habitations of Garbyang in Dharchula block of Pithoragarh, Talla Dhumar and Umli‐Bhandarigaon in Munsyari block of Pithoragarh and Bagi in Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttaranchal in India. All these habitations are being affected by ground subsidence and the inhabitants of these villages are facing severe resource crisis. Findings – Garbyang village in Central Himalaya is observed to be situated over the varve deposits laid down in the proglacial lake abutting against Chialekh ridge and is witnessing the problem of ground subsidence resulting in the destruction of the once thriving and prosperous habitation. The studies relate the subsidence at Garbyang with the seismicity in the region as also the subsequent toe erosion and downslope mass movement. The other sites discussed in the paper are witnessing the problem of ground subsidence due to the active toe erosion by rivers and streams. Research limitations/implications – There exist no records of the exact date of initiation of the ground subsidence in the investigated areas and these are grossly based on the information provided by the village elders. Originality/value – The article would help in making the disaster managers responsive to the problems the masses are facing due to ground subsidence in this fragile zone and this would result in mustering resources for reducing the hardships of the masses.
Disaster Prevention and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2005
Keywords: Natural disasters; General management; India; Nepal
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