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Latest Cloudburst in India 2021: Uttarakhand to J&K, states that have witnessed the destruction

Latest Cloudburst in India 2021:  Uttarakhand to J&K, states that have witnessed the destruction


At least 4 people were killed and 30 went missing after a cloudburst in a remote village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district on July 28, 2021. Apart from it, a flash flood caused by cloudbursts killed ten people and injured one in Himachal Pradesh’s tribal district of Lahaul – Spiti. Let us understand what is cloudburst and how does it happen in India?

Let us understand what is cloudburst?

A cloudburst is a sudden fierce downpour within a radius of a kilometer. Historically, it is believed that it does not last more for than a few minutes. However, they are capable of triggering flash floods in the entire area within no time. Several states in India are witnessing cloudbursts that are triggered by heavy rainfall, especially in the hilly regions. A series of Cloudburst incidents in Uttarakhand has caused massive destruction. According to reports, rainfall from a cloudburst is usually equal to or more than 100mm per hour.

How Does cloudburst happen?

A cloudburst usually happens in the hilly region due to the formation of the low-pressure area on top of the mountain. The low-pressure zone attracts clouds to the top of the mountain with great force.  Basically, when they hit the peak, the moisture content is released in the form of rain. Notably, not all heavy rain is a cloudburst. Also, the severity of cloudburst depends on the terrain. When it occurs in the hilly region, water gains momentum as it flows which can lead to landslides.  It can be dangerous and can be fatal. It can trigger flash floods as we are witnessing right now in India.

Let us take a look at the latest cloudbursts in India 2021:

5 Dead and 26 missing after a cloudburst hit a village in Jammu – Kashmir’s Kishtwar district.

In the wee hours of Wednesday, a cloudburst hit a village in Jammu Kashmir’s Kishtwar district. According to reports, 5 people went missing and 26 have died. Apart from them, 12 injured people have been rescued. According to top officials, “Bad weather is hampering the rescue operation but they are trying their best to rescue people.”  People living along with water bodies and slide-prone – areas are requested to stay vigilant by the authorities as more rainfall is expected.

Also read: Eminent Bharat Ratna Awardees: Things to know about the Highest Civilian award

10 Missing and 1 injured in the flashflood in Himachal Pradesh

As we discussed earlier, Flash Floods are caused by Cloudburst. A Senior Disaster Management official said on Wednesday that around 10 people are missing in the Tribal district of Lahaul – Spiti, a tribal district in Himachal Pradesh.

State/ District Actual Rainfall, mm Normal Rainfall, mm % Departure
Uttarakhand 175.5 65.6 168
Almora 153.3 51.4 198
Bageshwar 245.6 51.4 378
Chamoli 167.9 68.2 146
Champawat 225.7 55.4 333
Dehradun 145.8 53.4 173
Haridwar 82.2 26.5 210
Nainital 230.4 64.1 259
Pauri Garhwal 112.6 39.7 184
Pithoragarh 205.2 105.9 94
Rudraprayag 220.8 90.5 144
Tehri Garhwal 135 54.3 149
US Nagar 184.7 37.4 394
Uttarkashi 186.9 82.2 127

Source: https://sandrp.in/2021/06/03/uttarakhand-cloud-bursts-in-may-2021/

On May 3, 2021, a series of cloudbursts in Uttarakhand wrecked havoc in the state.  As per the report, one was reported in Chinyalisaur block, Uttarkashi, four in Augustmuni, Jakholi blocks in Rudraprayag in Ghansali block of Tehri.

On May 12, 2021, The Bhawali and Ramgarh area of Nanital witnessed two cloudbursts in a short period of time. The cloudburst triggered flash floods in three local streams including – Kshipra river. The farmland, cowshed, and homes were affected by the incident.

On May 20, 2021, one of the worst cloudburst incidents took place in the Chakrata district of Dehradun, where two dozen cattle were killed and four people were injured.

Cloudbursts in India are repetitive – Every year we witness a similar situation. Flash floods caused by cloudburst is fatal. Every year we witness people losing their loved ones and it also affects their property, home, and cattle.  But why so many cloudbursts? In the year 2013, thousands of people have swept away in the deadly floods of Uttarakhand. It was a nightmare for many and a lot of people call themselves lucky that they were safe during floods. Since then, we have heard several incidents of cloudburst – Let us see what experts have to say about it.

While talking to a leading daily, Kireet Kumar, Scientist at GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable development said, “ The main reason for frequent cloudburst is rising temperature due to climate change. Rainfall depends on temperatures which impact rain pattern and cloud formation- With the rising temperature, such events are on the rise.”  Experts believe not only the number of incidents have increased but their timing has also changed.

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Parul Srivastava

She likes to express herself through her write-ups. She doesn’t believe in doing different things but she enjoy doing things differently.

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