Houses and hotels in the town have been abandoned, and residents have been relocated to evacuation centres as the soil beneath their feet continues to sink.
The little town of Joshimath is deafeningly quiet. Yet, it was once a popular vacation place for hikers, resonating with the energy of crowds heading towards the Char Dham Yatra, nestled in the hills of Uttarakhand’s Chamoli region.
Worrying findings have emerged from the preliminary analysis issued by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which suggests that the entire holy town may sink as fissures grow in over 700 houses.
Furthermore, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) have provided satellite photos of Joshimath. They reveal that the temple village sank by over 5.4 cm in just 12 days, according to data from the Cartosat-2S satellite.
The entire town, including the Army’s helipad and the Narasimha temple, has been designated a sensitive zone based on these satellite photographs. The Joshimath-Auli road is also in danger of collapsing, which would cut off the region’s lifeblood.
The Approaching Bad Weather could Worsen the Situation.
The Uttarakhand government is currently conducting rescue operations in dangerous locations, and people are being relocated to safer areas on a priority basis.
On the other hand, the potential of increasing weather looms big over the region. During the last 24 hours, there was light rain in the highest areas of the Chamoli district.
According to weather.com (radar), the hilly state is forecast to get more snow and rain this week. On January 13, Joshimath might expect light rain/snow (in higher elevations). From this weekend on, the potential of a cold wave looms over the Himalayan state.
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Rains have caused anxiety in the region at this key juncture since they may cause landslides and exacerbate already-existing soil subsidence. This could impact the State Disaster Relief Fund’s (SDRF) continuing relief efforts.
In response to the deterioration of the situation, eight SDRF and two NDRF teams have been deployed to Joshimath for disaster relief activities.
Although scientists continue investigating the town’s flaws, the present results and the bleak state have already rung alarm bells in Joshimath.