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Human-induced activities led to landslide: Geologists

Friday, 1 August 2014 - 10:46am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

Excessive tree felling in the hill areas makes the soil unstable and rains turn the soill into mud leading to such slides

Pune: Considering the landslide at Malin village of Ambegaon Taluka a warning bell, geological experts claimed that such disasters are more man-made than natural. According to them, levelling of slope and deforestation could be the major reason behind the incident.
"There are two types of landslides: naturally-induced and human-induced. The current landslide is possibly due to human activities like farming and road construction," said Dr Satish Thigale, former head of department, Geology, University of Pune (UoP).
The hill area is full of soil and the trees hold the soil together. Due to tree felling, soil structure becomes unstable and the torrential rains convert the soil into mud and as a result landslide takes place, said experts.
Thigale has studied the Ambegaon region after a similar incident of landslide that had taken place in 2003. "The landslide then was also human-induced. The nearby areas had bent trees and light poles along with cracks in the soil structure. Before that landslide, there were reports of tree cutting for construction of houses and roads."
Professor SJ Sangode, department of geology, UoP, said, "The state has many landslide-prone areas with sensitive soil structures. But they have not been reported and there is no specific list of such areas with any organization."
While Ambegaon has been known as a landslide and earthquake-prone area, both the geologists say that increased human activities in an already sensitive and unstable hill area triggers natural calamities and increases the impact of the same.

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