Joshimath: Whats the future of India's sinking Himalayan town?
Hundreds of people have been evacuated from Joshimath, a Himalayan town which has been slowly sinking into the ground in India. As residents waited in uncertainty, the BBC's Vineet Khare spoke to experts to understand if the town could be saved.
Pushkar Singh Dhami, chief minister of Uttarakhand state where Joshimath is located, said that around 25% of the town's area had been affected by the subsidence.
Joshimath, with 25,000 residents, has around 4,500 buildings spread over 2.5 sq km (0.96 sq miles). More than 800 buildings have developed cracks, and authorities have been demolishing the unsafe ones.
"It doesn't look like the subsiding areas of Joshimath - which comprise settlements, houses and constructions - will survive," says geologist Dr SP Sati.
"There are no obstacles down the slope to prevent the subsidence, and there should have been multiple obstacles," he says, referring to the lack of green cover in the area.
Joshimath was built on the debris of a landslide triggered by an earthquake, and is located in a tremor-prone zone. It frequently witnesses landslides, which have weakened the soil.
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