Drissya Vijayan IX-D
From 14 to 17 June 2013, the Indian state of Uttarakhand and adjoining areas received heavy rainfall, which was about 375% more than the benchmark rainfall during a normal monsoon. This caused the melting of Chorabari Glacier at the height of 3800 metres, and eruption of the Mandakini River which led to heavy floods near Gobindghat, Kedar Dome, Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Western Nepal, and acute rainfall in other nearby regions of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Tibet.
The upper Himalayan territories of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are full of forests and snow-covered mountains and thus remain relatively inaccessible. They are home to several major and historic Hindu and Sikh pilgrimage sites besides several tourist spots and trekking trails. Heavy rainfall for four consecutive days as well as melting snow aggravated the floods. Warnings by the India Meteorological Department predicting heavy rains were not given wide publicity beforehand, causing thousands of people to be caught unaware, resulting in huge loss of life and property.
A year ago, Indians were shocked when catastrophic floods hit the state of Uttarkhand in the country’s northwest, killing more than 5,500 and affecting more than 100,000 others.
Experts blamed the heavy toll in part on the state government’s lack of preparedness to handle disasters, despite a history of calamities in the region, including 1998 flooding that killed over 300 people in one village.
Last year’s flood, considered India’s worst natural disaster since the 2004 Asian tsunami, has left experts questioning whether the country is adequately prepared to respond to disasters, particularly at the state and local level.
608 villages, covering a population of 700,000, in 23 districts of Uttar Pradesh were affected by the flood and As of 11 July 2013 more than 120 deaths were reported from the state.
In Himachal Pradesh, floods caused loss of life and property and death toll in the state was 20.
About 6000 citizens of Nepal were visiting the Indian region, of which 1,000 were rescued as of 22 June 2013. Flooding of the Dhauliganga and the Mahakali rivers had caused extensive damage, with reports of 128 houses and 13 government offices swept away and over 1000 people homeless.A bridge that joins the India-Nepal border is highly damaged or destroyed.