‘Our worst nightmare has come true’: The crisis facing the sinking Himalayan town of Joshimath

Hundreds of people have been evacuated with large cracks appearing in buildings – with activists alleging development projects have made the situation worse, writes Stuti Mishra

Tuesday 10 January 2023 15:03 GMT
A resident shows a crack on the wall of his house at Joshimath
A resident shows a crack on the wall of his house at Joshimath (AFP/Getty)

In the last two weeks, residents in a remote Himalayan town in India – near the border with China – have witnessed large cracks appearing in their walls.

More than 600 houses in Joshimath, a town of around 20,000 people had been impacted, along with other buildings, roads and fields. Hundreds of people are now living in evacuation camps.

Authorities have declared the area, situated at an altitude of 6,151ft on a hillside where two valleys meet, a “sinking town” – prone to landslides and subsidence. Officials are now set to demolish some of the damaged buildings.

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