Northern India has experienced a dramatic state of flooding due to record rains in the month of June and July. This resulted to devastating landslides where the state of Uttarakhand became badly inundated as 6,000 people were misplaced and 1 fatality occurred in the Morigaon district. Although many may claim this disaster to be caused by mother nature’s terrible charms, some environmentalists say the great after effects of the flooding is strongly due to anthropogenic reasons.
100,000 people have been rescued by the air force and security force personnel, however there is no official death toll leaving the missing ‘presumed dead’. The Ganges River and the Brahmaputra River as well as its tributaries, Dhansiri and Jia Bharali, have flown over the danger mark. They have washed villages and roads away due to heavy rain. 100,000 people have been rescued by the air force and security force personnel. The Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary have been hit. 7,000 hectares of agriculture was severely destroyed. 30,000 civilians are still affected by the flooding in the Nagaon district with an elephant and antelope lost within the floods.
1,500 people are being sheltered by 6 relief camps and 24 temporary shelters are now homes to 25,000 people. Vijay Bahuguna, Uttarakhand’s Chief Minister, that the federal government will aid 150,000 rupees [$2,500] to the families in the state besides compensation.
The heavy rainfall further lead to a Himalayan Tsunami, which resulted to the Indian Air Force carrying out the largest airlift in India’s history as they rescued residents and pilgrims and sent relief material.
Environmentalists ravaged their opinions on whether mother nature was entirely at fault. Most believe that the over-dramatic impacts of the flooding were due to the modification of the Himalayas’ natural state caused by humans. Devinder Sharma of the Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security talked to CNN and said, “ You’ve heard of homicide, well this is eccoside…The hills have been shorn of the forest cover, theres extensive mining taking place in this region and on top of that the roads that are being constructed are haphazard…We are playing with nature but at the same time blaming nature.”
CNN spoke to Souparno Banerjee, from the Indian advocacy group the Center for Science and Environment and she said, “Unregulated development and unregulated tourism is responsible for the scale of the disaster…The Himalayas are the biggest mountain range in the world, but they are also extremely fragile.”
Mayor Vijay Bahuguna responded and contradicted their opinions saying, “This is a very childish argument- that cloudbursts, earthquakes and tsunamis are caused by human factors. In the history of hundreds of years of Kedarnath, no such incident has taken place. In a Himalayan state this catastrophe has come about in 37,000 square miles of area. This cloudburst, 330 mm of rain, cannot be anticipated.”
Since mid-May the commencement of flooding has affected over 1.5 lakh people in over 500 villages across 12 districts in the state. This particular flooding disaster led the number of deaths and casualties fluctuate uncontrollably. Mayor Vijay Bahuguna is devasted at the disaster and fears that this would ruin the state’s economy. They rely on tourism and he fears that this major contribution will decline.
SURVIVORS OF THE FLOOD
AN ENVIRONMENTALISTS OPINION
‘Indian floods a man-mad disaster, say environmentalists’ [http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/25/world/asia/india-floods-development]
‘Indian Floods: Nearly 6,000 Missing A Month After Devastating Inundation’ [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/15/india-floods-missing-6000_n_3597784.html]
‘Assam flood situation improves, 59 villages still under water’ [http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1861524/report-assam-flood-situation-improves-59-villages-still-under-water]
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ENVIRONMENTALISTS OPINIONS ON THE FLOODING