Landslides constitute a major geologic hazard because they are widespread and occur almost throughout the state of Jammu and Kashmir, cause damages every year. Landslides pose serious threats to highways and structures that support tourism, timber harvesting, mining, and energy production as well as general transportation. Expansion of urban and recreational developments into hillside areas results in ever increasing numbers of residential and commercial properties that are threatened by landslides. Landslides commonly occur in connection with other major natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, wildfires, and floods. Effects of these disasters exacerbate relief and reconstruction efforts. Growth of urban areas and expanded land use elsewhere has increased the incidence of landslide disasters.
Landslides also cause serious property damage along the major rivers throughout the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Huge landslides occur in weathered shale, hydrothermally altered volcanic rocks, and other rocks in mountain ranges of the state. For example, rapidly melting snow late in the spring reactivate hundreds of large landslide deposits and triggered thousands of debris flows and cause hundreds of millions of rupees in damage. Debris flows occur wherever lithology and weathering patterns produce ample loose material on steep slopes; periodic heavy rains or rapid snow melt trigger debris flows in these areas. Loss of vegetation and ground cover that occurs during wildfires further enhances debris-flow susceptibility.