Publication Name

Uttarakhand – What really happened?


temperatures during May and June, as well as the outburst of glacial lakes.

catastrophic impact of the event. Heavy deforestation, road construction, the unplanned extension of settlements, mining and hydropower development are thought to have contributed to the damage. The Indian Meteorological Department claims to have provided timely warning of the heavy rainfall event, but lack of proper communication mechanism rendered the warning of little use. Further, lack of proper response mechanisms at the local level and the presence of an overwhelmingly large number of unprepared pilgrims in the area compounded the impact of this disaster.

A major disaster struck on 16 and 17 June 2013 in Uttarakhand after heavy rainfall occurred in several parts of the State. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, on 17 June the state had received 340 mm, more than four times the average rainfall during this period. This abnormally high amount of rain has been attributed to the interplay between westerlies and the monsoonal circulations. This heavy precipitation resulted in the swelling of rivers, in both upstream and downstream areas. Besides the rain water, a huge quantity of water was probably released from the melting of ice and glaciers due to high

This event killed more than 5,500 people and thousands went missing. About 100,000 pilgrims were trapped. It is suggested that the geomorphological setting of the area aggravated the flood impact. The heavy rainfall caused numerous landslides blocking the river and causing the subsequent sudden release of the stored water. There was also heavy damage to infrastructure, including highways and bridges. It is believed that socioeconomic factors further compounded the natural factors resulting in the

Extreme precipitation also resulted in floods in the western Nepalese district of Darchula.


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