Uttarakhand Flash Floods February 2021: Perils of Under-Preparedness or Disregard for the Environment or Both

  • B K Khanna Former Founder Senior Advisor & Senior Specialist, National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4560-9595
  • Khushboo Singh MBA Student (Disaster Management), Center for Disaster Management Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, New Delhi, India https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6579-5102
  • Amarjeet Kaur Director, Center for Disaster Management Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, New Delhi, India
Keywords: Cryosphere, Paraglacial, Discharge-balance, Risk-evaluation, Flash floods, Avoidable-causalities, Heat-trapping Greenhouse, NDRF

Abstract

Disaster hit Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on February 7, 2021, in the form of sudden flash floods after a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier was broke apart. The sudden floods were reported in the intricately linked tributaries of the Ganga River - Dhauli Ganga, Rishi Ganga, and Alaknanda rivers which triggered widespread panic and large-scale devastation and fatalities. The Flash floods damaged two power projects - NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad Hydel Project and the Rishiganga Hydel Project, five bridges, roads, and settlements, in and around Raini, Tapovan and Joshimath areas in Uttarakhand. Scores of laborers working at the sites of the Hydel Projects were trapped and feared to have lost lives, despite all our efforts to rescue them. It is the second large-scale tragedy in the same area within a span of fewer than eight years. Questions are being asked,”Why did we not learn any lesson from the earlier disaster in the very same area”? Was it under-preparedness, or was its disregard to the environment or both? This paper attempts to find the right answers to the questions and suggest solutions so that in the future, such avoidable disasters do not happen.

Published
2021-10-01
How to Cite
Khanna, B. K., Singh, K., & Kaur, A. (2021). Uttarakhand Flash Floods February 2021: Perils of Under-Preparedness or Disregard for the Environment or Both. Shanlax International Journal of Arts, Science and Humanities, 9(2), 35-43. https://doi.org/10.34293/sijash.v9i2.4194
Section
Articles