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Landslide early warning system to protect Indian communities

India landslide

Physical scientists, engineers and social scientists from across the world have collaborated to improve the assessment of landslide hazards and develop early warning systems in India.

Landslides affect large areas of the country, often triggered by monsoon rainfall, snow melt, earthquakes and the impact of local developments such as transport routes, mining and farming.

Research carried out through the Landslip project (Landslide multi-hazard assessment, preparedness and early warning in South Asia), will engage with local stakeholders to develop enhanced landslide hazard assessment and forecasting methods.

Focusing on two geographical areas in the country, the project will help develop landslide hazard assessment and early warning systems, as well as the best means of disseminating this information to those who need it.

Co-led by Helen Reeves from the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Bruce Malamud from King’s College London (KCL), the four-year project will support the risk reduction concerns of the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), which has been endorsed by more than 180 countries in the world.

BGS science director for engineering geology Helen Reeves said: “I believe that Landslip is providing a unique and exciting opportunity for UK, Italian and Indian scientists and engineers.

“It will provide new knowledge and information on landslide risk reduction in India and South Asia, supporting India’s contribution to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction”.

KCL’s Bruce Malamud added: “I am looking forward to working with this intellectually stimulating and passionate group of Indian, Italian and UK colleagues. I believe that Landslip will improve risk assessment and early warning systems for landslides in two very diverse regions of India.”

Landslides have a direct impact on dense settlements, particularly hill towns, highways, strategic trade corridors and Unesco world heritage sites located in these fragile mountain terrains oof Inida. Landslides can cause fatalities, destruction of property, damage to infrastructure and disruption of livelihoods, which has a disproportionate effect on vulnerable sections of the communities in these areas, many of them ecologically sensitive

Some of the methodologies developed through this project will be able to be used in other landslide-prone areas elsewhere in India and South Asia.

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