BENGALURU: During the torrential downpour in Coastal and Malnad districts, which resulted in flooding in parts of Kodagu district, 120 landslides were reported in a span of just three to four days. Satellite analysis by International Charter Space and Major Disasters (ICSMD) in the region, consisting of Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan districts, have identified the landslides for National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of Indian Space Research Organisation. However, sources add that the number of landslides recorded are likely to increase as satellite analysis has not been possible on some areas due to overcast conditions in Kodagu.
ICSMD — a worldwide collaboration of space agencies that use satellite data for disaster management — has identified 120 landslides in the third week of August after NRSC had requested them for the same. The landslides, each of them measuring an average of 50-100 sqm, were triggered due to extremely heavy rainfall in Kerala and some districts of Karnataka.
The highest number of landslides were observed in Belthangadi, Puttur and Sullia taluks of Dakshina Kannada district. Among other affected taluks were Madikeri in Kodagu district, Sakleshpur in Hassan district and Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district.The landslides in Dakshina Kannada had cut off rail connectivity between Bengaluru and Mangaluru, while road connectivity was hampered due to the closure of Shiradi and Sampaje Ghats — the two frequently used routes between the two cities.
A comparative analysis of the terrain in the said districts was made to assess the landslides. ISRO satellite Resourcesat-2 was used for images prior to the landslides, whereas seven different satellites of international space agencies such as European Space Agency and Korea Aerospace Research Institute and private firms such as DigitalGlobe were used for landslide analysis post the floods. The satellites included Pleiades, Kompsat, SPOT-7, Worldview-2 and GF-2.
According to sources in Karnataka State Remote Sensing Application Center, the number could increase in the coming days as satellite capture cloud-free images of Kodagu district. “We have been able to see the landslides over the rail route between Bengaluru and Mangaluru and also on Sampaje Ghat,” the source said. However, it is bound to take some more time as Kodagu district has a cloud cover almost all year round, the source added.