UTTARAKHAND FLASH FLOODS
BECOME AWARE OF THE DESTRUCTION CAUSED BY OUR GREEDY NEEDS
A flood occurs when water overflows or inundates land that's normally dry. This can happen in a multitude of ways. Most common is when rivers or streams overflow their banks. Excessive rain, a ruptured dam or even melting of ice in the mountains.
In June 2013, a multi-day cloudburst centered on the North Indian state of Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides in the country's worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami.
WHAT CAUSED THESE FLOODS?
Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, two hill states in the Himalayan range, are so far the worst hit by the extreme rains that struck northern India in the wake of monsoons that set in early this year. Media reports say nearly 60 persons have died in Uttarakhand, and an estimated 60,000 pilgrims are stranded. Heavy rainfall has wreaked havoc on the region because of the fragile nature of the Himalayan range and poor soil stability in its steep slopes. But it is man-made factors that have compounded the scale of the disaster. Unabated expansion of hydro-power projects and construction of roads to accommodate ever-increasing tourism, especially religious tourism, are also major causes for the unprecedented scale of devastation, say experts.
MOST AFFECTED PLACES
Rudraprayag - A small pilgrim town on the holy confluence of river Alaknanda and Mandakini which is venerated as one of the five sacred confluences or the 'Panch Prayag'.
Rudraprayag It is named after Rudra, an aspect of Lord Shiva. According to a legend Lord Shiva appeared here as 'Rudra' to bless Narad Muni. Rudraprayag is of immense significance for the pilgrims of Char Dham Yatra, as it is the junction for visiting Badrinath and Kedarnath Dham.
In the worst-affected Rudraprayag, rescue workers have found bodies of five of the 11 people believed to have been killed in a cloudburst near Rambada near Kedarnath.
Badrinath is a holy town and a nagar panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the most important of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage and gets its name from the Holy temple of Badrinath.
In recent years its popularity has increased significantly, with an estimated 600,000 pilgrims visiting during the 2006 season. The temple in Badrinath is also a sacred pilgrimage site for vaishnavites. Badrinath is also gateway to several mountaineering expeditions headed to mountains.
The kedernath temple, located at an height of 3,583 m (11,755 ft), 223 km from Rishikesh, on the shores of Mandakini river, a tributary of Ganges
Kedarnath, the famous holy town of Lord Shiva has been situated at the height of 3583 m above sea-level on a marshy plain, on the slope of Himalayas
Two persons are feared dead in a landslide in the Rudraprayag area and several are missing. The famous Kedarnath temple is inaccessible as the bridge to it has been washed away.
MITIGATION MEASURES TAKEN AFTER THE FLOOD
Helicopters started flying sorties to evacuate the pilgrims from the area.
Over 200 families living along the banks of Bhagirathi river have been asked to move to safer places following a rise in water level.
A team of experts from Archaeological Survey of India will visit the Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand to assess the quantum of damage caused by the flood fury and restoration required for the shrine.
The team of five experts from Dehradun and Delhi will be the part of the exercise for the revered temple which bore the brunt of floods and landslides triggered by the deluge in the hill state on June 16.
Department of Telecom has also issued instructions to all telecom companies that the toll free public utility emergency numbers must be operational and accessible to customers in affected areas by this evening.
Over 10,000 personnel of the armed forces, 18 helicopters and a transport plane of the Air Force have been deployed for relief and rescue operations in the state where thousands have been stranded at tourist spots and pilgrim centres.
With the weather improving on Thursday, the government has agreed to the demand for the supply of additional food grains in the flood-hit areas.
The CM has announced Rs. 25 crore financial help to natural calamity-hit Uttarakhand state and asked people to provide help to the state in any way