Natural Disaster

In Uttarakhand 2013

Reasons for the disaster

  • From 14th to 17th of June 2013, the state of Uttarakhand received heavy rainfall. A multi-day cloudburst centered on the state causing devastating floods and landslides.
  • Due to continuous rainfall the Chorabari Glacier melted and this triggered the flooding of Mandakini river.
  • Rapid growth of Hydroelectricity Damns which disrupt the water level also plays a role in this disaster.
  • Destructive cutting of trees in Uttarakhand contributes to the landslides in the state.

Historic significance of severely damaged places in Uttarakhand

Some of the places severely damaged in Uttarakhand disaster were the Gangotri Temple, Yamunotri Temple, Kedarnath Temple etc.

  • Gangotri Temple - Gangotri, the origin of the River Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Vhota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The original Gangotri Temple was built by the Gurkha General Amar Sing Thapa. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga (the Ganges) from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda. The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh, set in the Gangotri Glacier, and is a 19 km trek from Gangotri.

  • Yamunotri Temple - Yamunotri Temple is situated in the western region of Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 3,291 metres (10,797 ft) in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna and has a black marble idol of the goddess. The Yamunotri temple is a full day's journey from Uttarakhand's main towns — Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun. The actual temple is only accessible by a 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) trek from the town of Hanuman Chatti and a 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) walk from Janki Chatti; horses or palanquins are available for rent. The hike from Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri is very picturesque with beautiful views of a number of waterfalls. There are two trekking routes from Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri, the one along the right bank proceeds via the Markandeya Tirth, where the sage Markandeya wrote the Markandeya Purana, the other route which lies on the left bank of the river goes via Kharsali, from where Yamunotri is a five or six hours climb away.

  • Kedarnath Temple - Kedarnath Temple is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to the god Shiva and is located on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshaya Tritriya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November) every year. During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshipped there for six months. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Kedarnath, the 'Lord of Kedar Khand', the historical name of the region.

Steps taken by the government

  • The Army, Air Force, Navy, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Border Security Force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Public Works Department and local administrations worked together for quick rescue operations.
  • The state government announced a financial assistance of 25 crores.

Steps taken by the local community

  • The local people distributed food to the rescued pilgrims.
  • The local people collected money and distributed a fund to the injured people.
Uttarakhand floods Disaster 2013