Home Dehradun August has turned out to be month of disasters in U’khand

August has turned out to be month of disasters in U’khand

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SDC releases its monthly report on disasters and accidents

By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 16 Sep: The month of August saw multiple disasters and accidents in the state of Uttarakhand, mostly occurring due to landslides and heavy rainfall. These incidents caused extensive damage to life and property. For almost the whole of the month of August, Uttarakhand remained in a state of damages and distress. This was reiterated in the latest monthly report on Disasters and Accidents in Uttarakhand for the month of August by Social Development for Communities,  Foundation (SDC Foundation) released today. SDC Foundation is a Dehradun-based think tank and advocacy group, SDC has been publishing UDAS reports since October of last year and this marks the 11th UDAS report, and the 8th one in this year.
SDC Founder Anoop Nautiyal emphasised that the purpose of the UDAS report is to document major disasters and accidents occurring every month in Uttarakhand. The report is primarily based on news articles published in reputable Hindi and English newspapers and news portals.
The report reminds that on 3 August, debris from the hills fell on roadside shops near Gaurikund in Rudraprayag district. A dhaba and two shops were washed away in the Mandakini river due to the resultant landslide. At least 23 people are feared dead in this incident. A day later, debris entered a house in Maroda village in Dhanaulti Tehsil in Tehri district and a brother and sister aged 10 and 12 died as a result. On 8 August, two children of a Nepali family living in a hut in Gauri village of Rudraprayag died after being buried under debris. Again two days later on 10 August, debris from a hill fell on a car in Rudraprayag district, killing five pilgrims. On15 August, 2 labourers died and 5 were injured when a building collapsed near Joshimath. On 20 August, 7 pilgrims from Gujarat died and 28 were injured when their bus fell into a ditch on the Gangotri Highway. On 21 August, four people died after being buried under debris in a landslide at a taxi stand in Chamba in Tehri district. Another body was recovered the next day from the disaster site.
The UDAS report says that amid heavy rainfall, the month of August witnessed reports of landslides, cracks in houses, and roads either being washed away or blocked at various places in the state. In many areas, people were forced to evacuate their homes at night during the month of August.
The Char Dham routes had to be closed repeatedly throughout the month. The Badrinath route was the most affected, with six locations including Totaghati being blocked on 8 August.
On 17 August, the Badrinath Highway between Maithana and Pursari caved in with 70 metre long and 3 feet deep cracks appearing on the highway as a result. Pipalkoti and Pagalnala also experienced repeated closures, as did the routes to Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
In addition to these incidents, there were landslides in places like Kharmoli, Lakhwad, Maldevta, and Jakhan in Dehradun district, Chinyalisaur in Uttarkashi, Kathgodam in Nainital and Amsaur, Kotdwar and Yamkeshwar in Pauri district.
In Chamoli, landslides and cracks on houses occurred in villages like Pagnau, Majju, Laga, Bemru, and Sunil, among others. In these villages, people had to evacuate their homes in the darkness of the night.
According to government reports till 19 August; 78 people died, 1471 houses were damaged and 7737 animals lost their lives in Uttarakhand. An estimated loss of nearly Rs 1000 crores was reported.
A positive development is that the Uttarakhand government has decided to conduct a carrying capacity survey in 15 towns.
Founder of SDC, Nautiyal feels that Uttarakhand needs to focus and urgently strengthen the weak links in the existing disaster management system. He expressed hope that the Uttarakhand UDAS monthly reports will be helpful for the politicians, policy makers, officials, researchers, civil society and media of Uttarakhand. Besides, it can also be hopefully of some use while making policies to minimise the damage caused by disasters.