Joshimath sank 5.4cm in 12 days, ISRO releases satellite images

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The subsidence zone of Joshimath sank 5.4cm in 12 days between December 2020 and January 2023, while it recorded 9cm in seven months between April and November 2022.

The National Remote Sensing Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation has released satellite images of Joshimath, the Uttarakhand town gradually sinking because of land subsidence, and revealed that a rapid subsidence of 5.4cm has been recorded in 12 days — between December 27, 2022 and January 8, 2023. The 12-day sinking rate has been rapid as between April 2022 and November 2022, Joshimath saw a slow subsidence of 9cm. The NSRC said a rapid subsidence event was triggered between December last week and January first week.

The subsidence zone is located at central Joshimath only including the Army Helipad and Narsingh Mandir, the satellite images revealed. The crown of the subsidence is located near Joshimath-Auli road at a height of 2,180m

The subsidence zone of Joshimath which recorded a rapid sinking of 5.4cm in 12 days.
Slow subsidence of 8.9cm recorded in Joshimath between April and November in 2022.

Joshimath has been declared a land-subsidence zone by the Chamoli district administration after hundred of houses developed cracks within a few days and families had to be relocated as their residences have been identified as dangerous. While the government has announced an interim relief package of ₹1.5 lakh and working on a rehabilitation package, the demolition of two hotels began on Thursday but was again halted because of bad weather. The mechanical demolition was earlier stalled for a few days because of the protest of the locals and residents.

Only hotel Malari Inn and Mount View Hotel will be demolished as their existence is dangerous for the surrounding structures, the administration said assuring that no other houses will be demolished as of now. Several expert teams have been roped in to analyse the sinking of Joshimath, while tunnelling work for NTPC hydel project is being blamed by the experts. NTPC, however, issued a statement and claimed that their tunnel is not passing under Joshimath.

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