Rain-Induced Slope Instability: Case Study of Monsoon 2020 Affected Villages in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand, India

  • Sushil Khanduri Department of Disaster Management
Keywords: Toe erosion, Road widening, Loose soils, Causative factors, Pithoragarh Himalaya


Heavy precipitation in the catchments of Ramganga, Goriganga, Dhauliganga and Kali Rivers between 19 and 29 July, 2020 induced landslides and debris flows around many villages of Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand in India. Additionally, heavy rains added to the discharge of streams and the ensuing floods damaged some of the villages among those were located in the proximity of the streams.15 villages of Tejam, Munsiyari, Bangapani and Dharchula Tehsils of Pithoragarh District were badly affected in these incidences. Except for, there was massive loss of public infrastructure and property together with electricity and drinking water supplies were disrupted as also vehicular traffic was disrupted due to road damaged or washed off in the affected areas. Total of 28 human lives lost in entire Pithoragarh District during the monsoon period. In terms of losses of human lives, one of the worst affected villages was Tanga where alone 11 persons were killed and another was Gaila Malla Tok of Pattharkot Village where 3 persons were killed which caught Author attention to take these studies. The main purpose of this research is to find out the causative factors of slope instability and suggested measures for safety of dwelling units as well as local inhabitants in the villages.


Auden, J.B., 1949. In Director’s General report for 1939. Record of Geological Survey of India 78, 74-78.

Bishwapriya, A., Dhakate, M.V., Gajbhiye. P.K., 2013. An Interim report on preliminary slope stability assessment of recent disaster affected areas of Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand. Geological Survey of India, 67 (3-4), 337-346.

Das, P.K., 2015. Global warming, glacial lakes and cloud burst events in Garhwal-Kumaon Himalaya: A hypothetical analysis. International Journal of Environmental Sciences 5 (4), 697-708. Doi: 10.6088/ijes.2014050100065.

Das, S., Ashrit, R., Moncrieff, M.W., 2006. Simulation of Himalaya cloudburst event. Journal of Earth System Science 115, 299-313. Doi: 10.1007/BF02702044.

Heim, A., Gansser, A., 1939. Central Himalaya: Societe Helvetique des Sciences Naturelles 73, 1-245. IS: 1893 Part I, 2002. Indian Standard: 1893 Part I, Criteria for earthquake resistant design of structures. Bureau of Indian
Standards, New Delhi, India.

Khanduri, S., 2017. Disaster hit Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand Himalaya: Causes and implications. International Journal of Geography and Natural Disaster 7 (3), 1000205. Doi: 10.4172/2167-0587.1000205.

Khanduri, S., 2018. Disastrous Events on Kelash-Mansarowar Route, Dharchula Tehsil in Pithoragarh District, Uttarakhand in India. Journal of Earth Science and Climate Change 9 (4), 1000463. Doi: 10.4172/2157-7617.1000463.

Khanduri, S., 2020. Cloudbursts Over Indian Sub-continent of Uttarakhand Himalaya: A Traditional Habitation Input from Bansoli, District-Chamoli, India. International Journal of Earth Sciences Knowledge and Applications 2 (2), 48-63.

Khanduri, S., 2021. Formation and Failure of Natural Dams in Uttarakhand Himalaya: An Observation from Lwarkha, Chamba Tahsil of Tehri Garhwal District, India. International Journal of Earth Sciences Knowledge and Applications 3 (1), 12-22.

Kumar, A., 2013. Demystifying a Himalayan tragedy: Study of 2013 Uttarakhand Disaster. Journal of Indian Research 1 (3), 106-116.

Patel, R. C., Kumar, Y., Lal, N., Kumar, A., 2007. Thermotectonic history of the Chiplakot Crystalline Belt in the Lesser Himalaya, Kumaon, India: Constraints from apatite Wssion-track thermochronology. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 29 (2), 430-439. Doi: 10.1016/j.jseaes.2006.04.008.

Paul, S.K., Bartarya, S.K., Rautela, P., Mahajan, A.K., 2000. Composite Mass Movement of 1998 Monsoons at Malpa in Kali Valley of Kumaun Himalaya (India). Geomorphology 35 (3-4), 169-180. Doi: 10.1016/S0169-555X(00)00032-5.

Valdiya, K.S., 1980. Geology of the Kumaun Lesser Himalaya. Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehra Dun, India.