07 July 2013

Furious Nature - The Uttarakhand Tragedy

Nature is not just known for its beauty, but also for many disasters. It is all about how carefully we treat our nature. When we cause so much harm to our own surroundings, it shows off the result in some means of disasters.Everyone of us would have heard about the recent disaster that had happened in Uttarakhand where many of them died and most of them were stranded. It is widely said that this Uttarakhand tragedy is not uncommon since that area is always prone to natural disasters. But some researchers and environmental enthusiasts say that it is also caused due to deforestation, construction of more dams that needs tunneling the ground and also due to some careless constructions of buildings, lodges and homes in the river bed which are being washed away in the floods.

Uttarakhand aka Uttaranchal is a northern state of India which was partitioned from Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. As per wiki it is said that Uttarakhand is the 19th most populated state in India. Since Uttarakhand is mostly covered by mountains ( Himalayas in the northern side) and forests it acts an important tourist site. Uttarakhand is one among the most famous pilgrimage sites where the sacred temples like Kedarnath and Badrinath is located. It is where the two major rivers of India the Ganga and the Yamuna originates at Gangotri and Yamunotri respectively. They were said to be caused by the glaciers melts, lakes and streams in their place. Adding to this there are two national parks such as the Valley of Flowers and the Nanda Devi national park located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand which are considered under the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the most famous hill stations of India like Nainital and Mussoorie are located in Uttarakhand.

Being such an enriched state, Uttarakhand has also been prone to earthquakes and floods always. But this time it has faced something bigger and harder than before I guess. As we all know there was a major cloudburst in the state this year in MID-June, it is said that it takes almost two or five years to resume back to normal. Since the tragedy has happened in the middle of the pilgrimage season, thousands of lives has been ruined. Due to this cloudburst, heavy floods had washed away many lives, buildings, pathways and bridges which made many people left stranded and helpless. Many lodges, hotels and houses have also been washed away by floods. The surprising fact is that despite this heavy downpour and lashing floods has washed away the compound walls of the Kedarnath temple, the Kedarnath Shrine has survived and is safe. And it is also said people inside the shrine has been saved while others were dead in front of the temple.

Images Courtesy : Ibnlive.com

But anyhow people whomever have survived this calamity had said that they have found and seen God in the Indian army and the ITBP ( Indo- Tibetan Border Police ) who played a brilliant and vital role in rescue operations. NDRF ( National Disaster Response Force )and NDMA ( National Disaster Management Authority ) have also done their part in the rescue operations. They used some ladders, ropes and even constructed small winch like machines to evacuate people. Most of all the IAF ( Indian Air Force) have also done a major Chopper evacuation to rescue stranded people. But the hardest part is many people have missed their loved ones.

Salute to all the brave hearts of the Indian Army, IAF, ITBP, NDRF, NDMA and some adventurer's who played a vital role in saving lives.

Many people who went there along with family members, have missed some or whole while returning back. It is reported that some people who have been rescued have placed some camps there and are waiting for their family members with hope. Despite these rescue operations, as I have read yesterday in the web that almost 1200 children were still missing. And the most terrible part is a 3 year old girl who is rescued with fractured legs is missing her family. She was found alone at Gaurikund and she got treatment at Doon hospital, Dehradun and got recovered now. Unfortunately this young child couldn't find her family yet. Hope their family reaches her soon.

Here I'm sharing few websites through which you can help since there are still missing peoples and relief's are being distributed.


'Google crisis response' has played a vital role to find the stranded people. They have also provided maps related to floods. Additional information's were provided in PTI.
Uttarakhand Floods Information as provided by Google :

Uttarkashi                                : (+91) 1374-226461
Chamoli                                   : (+91) 1372-251437, 9411352136
Rudraprayag                            : (+91) 1364-233727, 9412914875
Control Room (Uttarakhand)   :  (+91) 135-2710334, 9557444486

Since many people are still missing, the NDRF are planning to deploy some devices to trace them. As per this move, they have accepted to use a drone named 'Daksha' designed by Dr.Senthil Kumar of the Madras Institute of Technology ( MIT ). Here's an article from The Hindu Newspaper about it.

And kindly check this following link for some information regarding the cause of floods, how it can be tackled etc.,

Preventive measures for such Natural disasters :

                   * We can't stop a natural disaster, but still we can avoid some of the causes of it. First thing is as much as we can, we must stop constructing buildings in or near the river beds.

                   * We must stop deforestation which is a very concerned issue. By cutting down the trees, we ourselves are creating damage to ourselves. By planting trees or conserving the existing trees we can make sure that excess water is consumed by the roots of the trees. In places like Uttarakhand, deforestation in mountains causes the landslides. It is said that planting Oak and Pine tress in these places could help to resist such situations.Have a look at this link in the Economic times about this: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

                   * A proper rain water harvesting system and drainage system has to be constructed in a way that  it collects excess water. It is said that proper maintenance of these systems can avoid landslides.

                   * Constructions of dams must be regulated properly.

                   * Weather forecasting systems can be updated and regulated properly.

Hope we can still handle such situations wisely by studying the nature of our locality and regulate the activities according to it to avoid major disasters.

Hoping that everyone finds their missed loved ones soon.


  1. wen hav u started blogging abt calamities :O .. keep going :)

    1. Thanks Sugi. This incident has provoked me to write about it.

  2. this disaster is partly due to monsoon fury and partly man-made.the whole nation nay the humanity is indebted to those forces involved in the rescue operations and did their best.

    1. Yes Sir, it is said to be partly man-made. And many forces has done their best in rescue operations. Despite that many are still missing.

  3. Nice post sushmitha, This one is really unfortunate. We humans should start protecting nature and stop activities that would cause imbalance in nature.

    1. Thanks Gokoulane. Yes we need to step in and take necessary steps to protect the nature and plan the activities according to the habitat.

  4. Isn't it strange that the same people who say that trees should not be cut, minerals should not be mined and dams should not be constructed (in environmentally sensitive regions), CANNOT do without books/wooden furniture, comforts, energy, etc? Talk about Irony!!

    Destination Infinity

    1. Yes it is strange. We must respect the nature at-least by planning activities that would be suitable for a particular region.

  5. Replies
    1. Very much Deepak. Its hard to digest.

  6. True story is yet to come. As days go by the UK disaster news is fading from the mainstream media.

    1. Absolutely ! Lets hope for the best possible measures at-least in the near future.

  7. What has happened is very bad.
    One lesson to learn is that if we treat nature badly we will get back the same.

    1. Exactly Rajesh ! That's what I tried to convey here. Everything depends on our actions. If we respect, conserve and treat our nature properly, we can avoid these disasters at-least to an extent.

  8. If you look at this closely, nature has always been like this - furious and ruthless. The only difference is we humans have multiplied many fold and started occupying places everywhere without consideration to what the nature will do.

    The only solution is to act sensibly and not have more and more babies. Every human being has needs - a place to stay, food to eat, energy to live and work, and these all cannot be accommodated if we keep increasing in numbers.

    If we don't take care of this sensibly, then obviously nature is going to be the way it always been - and it will appear cruel to us. By nature, I don't just mean the mountains, rivers, volcanoes and tsunamis - I also mean the living beings including human beings. We all will become cruel in our own ways in the struggle of survival.

    And that won't be pretty.

    1. Exactly Sir, we occupy many places. Already many agricultural fields have been changed into plots for buildings. And the cities are already enclosed inside the concrete world. It all depends on how well we treat and conserve our Nature. Its better to do our little part in conserving than doing nothing. Thanks for your comment Sir :)

  9. It is true that if we harm someone, that someone will also harm us!
    The same applied here....its very sad and tragic Technology News


Add your valuable comments here !