27 January, 2021

Bludgeoned By Water

A calamity tests the mettle of the people of the hills, the faith of pilgrim-tourists

AFP (From Outlook 01 July 2013)
Bludgeoned By Water

‘Himalayan Tsunami’

A natural disaster but a man-made catastrophe

How everybody looked the other way

  • Meteorological Department says it had alerted the Uttarakhand government on June 14
  • CAG report had warned of immense damage to hills by hydel projects along Bhagirathi, Alaknanda.
  • Scientists have repeatedly warned of “Himalayan tsunamis” caused by glacial lakes breaking banks

Why the ‘ragad-bagad’ happened this year

  • 500% higher rainfall than average in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh this year
  • 385 mm rainfall received by Uttarakhand; on average it receives around 71 mm around this time of year

Why the scale of devastation is so huge

  • Incessant blasting of hills to construct dams has loosened soil. So has deforestation. This causes landslides.
  • Rush of pilgrims. Several...


    To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

In this article:

More from Anubha Bhonsle

Latest Magazine

February 01, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section