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People told to stay away from farmland

Staff Reporter

Geologists study area where cracks have developed

SALEM: A team of geologists from the Periyar University, which inspected the fissures that had developed in the agricultural field at the eastern part of the Kolli Hills recently, asked the people to keep away from the area as even minor disturbances might trigger a landslide.

The team, consisting of the Professor and Head of the Department of Geology, S. Anbazhagan, faculty member R. Neelakantan and research scholar S. Arivazhagan, visited the area situated 12 km east of Semmedu village.

The crack had a depth ranging from a few centimetres to more than two metres and was running for a length of about 1 km.

Excessive rainfall and continuous agriculture operations could be the cause of the crack. Cultivation activities convert the terrain into saturated soil.

Drainage flow

The torrential rain causes heavy infiltration of water into the subsurface increasing the pore water pressure, which leads to the weakening of debris (rock and soil).

The farming activities and drainage flow in the region also lead to the formation of clayey soil at the subsurface. Development of sandy clay soil is one of the main causes of land subsidence," Prof. Anbazhagan said.

Landslip

"Presently, the area is stable. However, the widening of fissures and percolation of water through them during rain may trigger landslip any time," he cautioned.

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