Describe the various causes and the effects of landslides. Mention the important components of the National Landslip Risk Management Strategy.

Sample Answer


A landslide is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope. Landslides are a type of “mass wasting” which denotes any down-slope movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity.


Almost every landslide has multiple causes. 

Various causes of landslides

  • Geological causes: Weak, sensitive and weathered material, presence of joints and fissures, variation in physical properties such as permeability. 
  • Morphological causes: Tectonic or volcanic uplift, erosion due to wind and water, higher deposition of load on the slope or its crest, removal of vegetation. 
  • Physical causes: Intense rainfall, earthquake/volcanic eruption, rapid snow melt/freeze 
  • Anthropogenic causes: Excavation of the slope or its toe, deposition of load on the slope, drawdown of reservoir, deforestation, mining, irrigation and artificial vibration

Short run: 

  • Loss and damage to property, loss of lives, Destruction to agricultural crops, Damages to Vegetation, Obstruction of vehicular movement leading to Traffic jam, temporary loss of livelihood for the poor people etc. 


  • Increase in the sediment load of the river which can lead to floods. 
  • Reduce the effective life of hydroelectric and multipurpose projects by adding an enormous amount of silt load to the reservoirs. 
  • Loss of cultivable land and infrastructure. 
  • Environmental impact in terms of erosion and soil loss 
  • Demographic impact in terms of relocation of population towards other areas. 
  • Frequent disruption of transportation networks leads to geographical isolation and hence perpetuates under-development. 

Important components of the National Landslide Risk Management strategy 

  • Generation of User-Friendly Landslide Hazard Maps 
  • Development of Landslide Monitoring and Early Warning System 
  • Awareness Programmes 
  • Capacity Building and Training of Stakeholders 
  • Preparation of Mountain Zone Regulations & Policies 
  • Stabilization and Mitigation of Landslides and Creation of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for Landslide Management. 


After all of these action items have been handled on a priority basis with a feeling of urgency and backed up by the necessary operational, legal, institutional, and financial support, the country’s efficacy in managing landslides and avalanches will be much more effective and reliable.

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