- What is Article 371 of Indian Constitution? Can it solve the Kashmir issue?
- Ministry of Cooperation created by Centre to strengthen Cooperatives
- Assam Cattle Preservation Bill 2021 bans sale of beef in Hindu, Sikh & Jain areas
- Interstate disputes in India and ways to solve them explained, History of formation of Indian States
- Finance Commission recommends Urban Local Bodies empowerment to fight Covid 19
- Great Nicobar Island strategic significance – How India can beat Singapore as a trans-shipment hub?
- Joseph Shine vs Union of India case, Decriminalisation of Adultery
- Shreya Singhal vs Union of India – Freedom of Speech and Expression on the Internet
- Gujarat Prohibition Act 1949 challenged in High Court invoking Right to Privacy
- Sarla Mudgal vs Union of India Case – Laws on bigamy in India
- Cinematograph Amendment Bill 2021 by I&B Ministry & its impact on artistic freedom?
Governance & Social Justice
- How Big Tech Companies are challenging Governments around the world? How to regulate Tech Firms?
- Jal Jeevan Mission delivered tap water to more than 1 lakh villages & 71 districts
- World’s largest teachers’ training programme NISHTHA launched by NCERT & MoTA
- What is Ed-Tech?Does India need a new policy for Educational Technology
- UP Population Control Bill 2021, Yogi Govt’s 2 Child Policy
- Five Pillars of Indian Diplomacy for strategic autonomy & global good
- US intervention in Afghanistan – Did USA failed in Afghanistan?
- How can India beat China? Will China’s aging population problem lead to its economic downfall?
- China’s growing presence in Indian Ocean Region a challenge for India?
- Why is China trying to break India’s Chicken Neck? Understand Siliguri Corridor & Doklam through the map
- Zomato and Swiggy indulging in Anti-Competitive Practices alleges NRAI
- How reforms in the Agricultural Sector can transform Indian economy? Issues, Govt schemes & Solutions
- Jet Airways to fly again by the end of year 2021 – Aviation Sector in India
- Paytm IPO to raise Rs 16,000 crore, India’s biggest IPO ever
- How Ports can play a vital role in Indian Economy?
- Agricultural Exports from India are sustainable or not?
- What is Techno Feudalism? How tech giants and pandemic have increased the gap between rich poor
- History of Indian Rupee vs US Dollar – Reasons for devaluation of Indian Rupee since Independence
- Is Uttar Pradesh a rising star? Understand Economic History of UP
Defence & Security
- Armed Forces Special Powers Act explained – Centre extends AFSPA in Nagaland till 31 December 2021
- Jammu Air Base Attack – India at UN said Terrorists using Weaponised Drones needs serious attention
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- Cross Border Drug Trafficking and Challenges to Internal Security of India
- Father Stan Swamy accused in Elgar Parishad case passed away in custody
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- China launches electric bullet train in Tibet near Arunachal Pradesh
Science & Technology
- GS 3 || Disaster Management || Major Disasters || Cloud Bursts
Why in the news?
- There have been massive flash floods in Dharamshala(HP) after a cloudburst occurred there. Cloudburst has blocked the national highway near Jhakri in the Rampur area of Shimla district.
What is a cloud burst?
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) defines a cloudburst as any event where 100 millimeters of rainfall have fallen in an hour over a region that is 20-30 square kilometers in area.By this definition, 5 cm of rainfall in half an hour would also be classified as a cloudburst.
Impact of Cloudburst
- This leads to flash floods/ landslides, house collapse, dislocation of traffic, and human casualties on a large
- In addition, as pointed out earlier, cloudbursts get counted only when they result in large-scale destruction of life and property, which happens mainly in mountainous regions.
- Accompanying effect of Cloudbursts on terrain
- Land caving
- Flash floods –houses and establishments getting swept away and cave-ins lead to deaths.
- Blocking the path of rivers that may lead to temporary damming and the creation of a reservoir and its consequent collapse
- The rainfall itself does not result in the death of people, though sometimes, the raindrops are big enough to hurt people in a sustained downpour. It is the consequences of such heavy rain, especially in the hilly terrain, that causes death and destruction.
Disasters due to Cloudbursts of the past
- Chamoli district- May 2021
- Several cloudbursts caused several homes and roads in several villages in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli, Tehri, and Rudraprayag districts to be flooded with water and debris in early May 2021.
- Uttarakhand Floods-2013
- The most devastating disaster in India due to cloudbursts was the Uttarakhand floods and landslides of 2013, which were preceded by heavy rainfall before a cloudburst that triggered flash floods. The total death toll was about 5,700 deaths, making it the 5thÂ deadliest global landslide event in terms of fatalities.
- The multi-day cloudburst in the hill state of Uttarakhand triggered flash floods and massive landslides.
- Uttarakhand is highly prone to cloudburst events. Nineteen of the 30 major cloudburst events reported from the southern rim of the Himalayas occurred in Uttarakhand.
- Ladakh Floods- 2021
- A major cloudburst and heavy rainfall on the intervening night of August 6, 2010, triggered mudslides, flash floods, and debris flow in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh. 71 towns and villages in Leh were affected in the region and at least 255 people died.
- Hilly regions are more prone though happens in plains as well
- Cloudbursts do happen in plains as well, but there is a greater probability of them occurring in mountainous zones; it has to do with the terrain. Cloudbursts happen when saturated clouds are unable to produce rain because of the upward movement of the very warm current of air.
- Hilly terrains aid in heated air currents rising vertically upwards, thereby, increasing the probability of a cloudburst situation.
- The Chota-Nagpur plateau spread across north Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand is the world’s most vulnerable spot for the formation of severest thunderstorms.
Prediction/ Forecasting of Cloud bursts
- They are difficult to forecast but not impossible; the difficulty arises out of the fact that they take place over a very small area. Forecasts for a very small area are difficult to predict.
- The large-scale features that favor the occurrence of severe thunderstorms with cloudbursts are predictable two to three days in advance.
- Doppler Radars
- The precise location and timing of a cloud burst can only be predicted in NOWCAST mode, i.e. a few hours before the genesis of a thunderstorm has begun.
- A Doppler Weather Radar (DWR), a powerful tool for time and location-specific cloudburst prediction, can be deployed a few hours in advance to detect these sudden developments. When combined with satellite imagery, this data can be used to extrapolate cloudbursts anywhere in India.
Frequency of cloudbursts
- There is a paucity of past data on cloudbursts; in addition, since only some of them get counted – only those that result in death and destruction – there is a problem of accuracy as well.
- But what is very clear is that events of extreme precipitation have been on the rise in the last few decades; keeping temperature fluctuations in mind as a trend, that cloudburst events might be on the increase as well.
Mitigation of cloudbursts
- Regulation of construction activities along river banks with special consideration to water level during heavy rainfall.
- Reinvigorating the SDMA with adequate resources (funds and personnel)
- Localized planning taking into consideration the ecologically fragile nature of the region and involving the local communities
- Better forecasting by IMD and incorporation of advanced technology to monitor and predict extreme weather events can enable early warning, evacuation, and preparedness
- Adoption of eco-friendly policies and eco-sensitive tourism for the development of the region.
- Incorporation of disaster management and prevention into the developmental planning process.
- Rescue and relief and evacuations cannot be enough due to the sudden nature of the disaster. The best solution has to be a solution inbuilt into our habitations whereby the effects of cloudbursts can be mitigated therein. One such mechanism is being planned in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Copenhagen as a model
- A useful model in cloudburst mitigation is Copenhagen, whose municipal department has organized a cloudburst master plan coupled with concretization plans. The plan aims to decouple 30 to 40 percent of the excess stormwater from the combined sewer system to level out the expected 40 percent excess rainfall due to climate change over 100 years.
- The plan incorporates both concretizations, the creation of canals, and the greening of Copenhagen.
- Copenhagen represents the way forward in long-term planning for some of the aberrations that might be caused by climate change. An inbuilt mechanism to combat a disaster is the best solution, provided it delivers.
- Copenhagen as a model
- The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) organized the 1st International Conference on “Landslides Risk Reduction and Resilience” in November 2019 in New Delhi.
- Hosted the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) and the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR).
- India has also offered its expertise and capabilities in DRR such as the South Asia satellite, GSAT-9, and the Tsunami Early Warning Centre to other countries.
- Disaster Management was one of the important Agenda items the BIMSTEC leaders deliberated upon during the Goa BRICS Summit in October 2016 where BIMSTEC leaders were the Special Invitees.
- NDMA guidelines emphasize community-Based Disaster Management (CBDM). Utilization and leverage of local knowledge, resources can have a multiplier effect on mitigation.
- Participation and co-operation of local bodies such as NGOs, Gram Sabhas, Panchayats can strengthen the entire framework of disaster management.
Mains model question
- Discuss the phenomenon of cloudburst and how it differs from normal rainfall. Examine the Indian aspect of it.