Melting of glaciers, rains responsible for natural disaster: Union ministry

Jul 29th, 2013 | By | Category: Development and Climate Change, Disaster and Emergency, Disasters and Climate Change, Government Policies, News, Vulnerability, Weather

Kedarnath city

Tribune: Melting of glaciers coupled with monsoon rains, triggering overflow of rivers, were responsible for the Uttarakhand tragedy, a top official of the Ministry of Earth Sciences said here today.

“The flood was not only due to the rains but also because of the melting of snow. Rains came almost two weeks early in the state. During that period, winter snow was already there. Now when the rain came, snow melted and flowed down along with the rains which increased the volume of water in the rivers significantly,” ministry Secretary Shailesh Nayak said.

Pointing out that his ministry had never declared there was a cloudburst in the state, he said the flow of large amount of materials like boulders added to the misery.

Nayak, whose ministry would create a network of state-of- the-art doppler radars across the entire Himalayan range to improve forecasting, said the local weather report in the state had provided “specific” forecast before the rains, while announcement was also made in Gauri Kund. Hundreds of people lost their lives in the tragedy that struck the state last month.

Aiming at helping people visiting the hill state, the ministry was planning to start a mobile service that would post updates about weather conditions, Nayak said. He said meteorological satellite INSAT-3D, which was launched today, would lead to an “improvement in weather forecast” in the country. “The understanding of the upper atmosphere will dramatically improve and there will be improvement of weather forecast,”  said Nayak.

The ministry is also spearheading a project to increase the doppler network in Himalayan states in the next two to three years to improve weather forecasting. Doppler radars are capable of predicting severe thunderstorms and generating an accurate data on wind changes and rain clouds. Three of 15 such radars would be set up in Uttarakhand. — PTI

The flood was not only due to the rains but also because of the melting of snow. Rains came almost two weeks early in the state. During that period, winter snow was already there. Now when the rains came, snow melted and flowed down along with the rains, which increased the volume of water in the rivers significantly. — Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences

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