Joshimath is a sacred Uttarakhand town. Residents became alarmed when they noticed fissures in their houses and roads. They described the town as “gradually sinking”.
To assess the situation Uttarakhand Chief minister Pushkar Dhami will hold a high-level conference at Dehradun on Jan 6 with senior government officials from disaster, irrigation and home, along with the Garhwal Mandal commissioner, and the Chamoli district magistrate.
Joshimath is located at 6,000 feet in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, between Hemkund Sahib and Badrinath. It is situated in seismically active Zone V, a region that has a high chance of earthquakes. Many people have evacuated the area in anticipation of a sinkage.
In a bulletin dated January 5, the Chamoli administration reported that 561 establishments in Joshimath had reported fractures that occurred after soil subsidence. The highest number — 153 establishments — reported cracks in Uttarakhand’s Ravigram Ward.
In the last 24 hours, nine families were forced from their homes, including four from Joshimath Municipal Corporation and one from Gurudwara Joshimath. One from the Tourist Hostel, another from Manohar Bagh, and one each from Gurudwara Joshimath and Gurudwara Joshimath. According to the statement, 38 families have been displaced so far.
Hotel View and Malari Inn are now prohibited from operating until further orders under the Disaster Management Act 2005.
According to the statement, 561 establishments were listed as having been closed.
In response to the reports that land was sinking in Joshimath, and cracks were appearing in many homes in the town, CM Dhami said that he would take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the people. Dhami stated that he would soon be traveling to Joshimath to assess the situation and make the necessary steps.
A large number of Joshimath residents came out with torchlights to point out cracks in the buildings on January 4. The Badrinath road was blocked by others the next day, warning about a “chakka jam”, due to vertical sinking of the local land.