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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Final Report on India Flood 2023 DREF Operation with Reference no. MDRIN028

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Devastating Floods in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand

Date when the trigger was met: 2023-08-19

Overview: Heavy downpours in late August 2023 plagued Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, leading to devastating floods triggered by cloudbursts. The intense rains, a continuation of the earlier monsoon season, caused flash floods and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life, extensive damage to infrastructure, and destruction of crops and livestock.

Impact of the Rains

The heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand worsened the damage caused by the earlier monsoon, leading to additional floods and landslides. The Kedarnath valley in Uttarakhand and Kullu Manali districts in Himachal Pradesh were severely affected, with widespread flooding and numerous landslides reported. The tourism industry in both states also suffered due to stranded tourists and damaged hotels and resorts.

In Himachal Pradesh, areas such as Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, and Chamba were most impacted, with extensive damage to roads, bridges, houses, and agricultural land. The state government declared a state of emergency and initiated rescue and relief operations to address the aftermath of the floods and landslides.

Monsoon Season in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand

The monsoon season in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand began on 20 June 2023 with light rains that intensified in the second week of July, leading to heavy downpours. The heavy rains caused widespread flooding, landslides, and significant damage to infrastructure, displacing thousands of people and resulting in over 200 deaths in the region.

Factors Contributing to the Disaster

A combination of factors, including the surge of monsoon rains, moisture influx from the Mediterranean Sea via a western disturbance, and potential impact of climate change, played a role in the widespread flooding and landslides. Rising temperatures may have increased the atmosphere’s moisture capacity, leading to more intense rainfall events that worsened the impact of the monsoon season.

Relief Efforts and Long-Term Recovery

The government deployed teams of rescue workers and experts to assess the damage and develop plans for the region’s long-term recovery. Healthcare facilities in Himachal Pradesh were severely impacted, but efforts are ongoing to address the healthcare needs of the affected population. The devastating floods in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have had a lasting impact on the region, with extensive damage, loss of life, and disruption to infrastructure and livelihoods.

FAQ

1. What were the areas most impacted by the floods in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand?

In Himachal Pradesh, areas such as Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, and Chamba were most impacted, with extensive damage to roads, bridges, houses, and agricultural land. In Uttarakhand, the Kedarnath valley and Kullu Manali districts were severely affected.

2. What factors contributed to the widespread flooding and landslides in the region?

A combination of factors, including the surge of monsoon rains, moisture influx from the Mediterranean Sea via a western disturbance, and potential impact of climate change, played a role in the devastating floods and landslides.

3. What efforts are being made for the long-term recovery of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand?

The government has deployed teams of rescue workers and experts to assess the damage and develop plans for the region’s long-term recovery. Efforts are also ongoing to address the healthcare needs of the affected population.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the devastating floods in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in 2023 resulted in significant loss of life, extensive damage to infrastructure, and destruction of crops and livestock. The combined impact of heavy rains, monsoon season, and potential climate change effects led to widespread flooding and landslides, impacting the region’s healthcare facilities and livelihoods. The government’s relief efforts and plans for long-term recovery are crucial in addressing the aftermath of this disaster.


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