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Case Study Of The Uttarakhand Disaster

580 words - 2 pages


The State of Uttarakhand is vastly covered by high Himalayan Mountains comprising the Himadri and Shivalik ranges. The existence of such mountainous terrain in the state makes it prone to many natural disasters such as Landslides & Floods. Also, the fact that the entire area of Uttarakhand is categorized as Seismic Zone IV which makes it prone to major Earthquakes. Several major and minors rivers originate in the hills of Uttarakhand. Two major rivers, i.e. Ganga & Yamuna have their sources in the upper reaches of Gangotri and Yamunotri glaciers respectively.

The flood disaster of 2013 is attributed to continuous heavy rainfall in the state from 15th June, 2013 to 17th June, 2013. Many regions in the state such as Kedarnath, Rudraprayag and Gaurikund etc. experienced up to 300% more than average rainfall. These heavy rainfalls resulted from the collective devastation of both torrential monsoon rains as well as Westerly disturbances. These rains reaped havoc throughout the state, especially in the hilly regions. Most devastation was caused in Rudraprayag, Bageshwar, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh and Chamoli districts of the State.

The flooding of Mandakini River, that caused major destruction to the town of Kedarnath and Rambara, occurred following two separate events.

The first event took place on 16th June 2013 when excess discharge in Mandakini River brought down huge boulders and debris, as its course was narrowed down by these rocks and dumping of excavated material. The flood and the debris it brought along caused massive destruction in Rambara and Gaurikund.

The second event took place the next day on 17th June, 2013 when a moraine barrage was washed away by the surplus water accumulated in Chorabari Tal. Chorabari Lake is a rain and glacier fed lake located about 1.5 km upstream of Kedarnath....

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