Updated: February 12, 2021 4:11:14 am
More than 85 per cent of districts in Uttarakhand, which are home to at least 9 crore people, are hotspots of extreme floods and its associated events, according to a recent study by the environmental think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) on extreme weather hotspots in the country.
The frequency and intensity of extreme flood events in Uttarakhand have increased four-fold since 1970, according to the study. Similarly, associated flood events like landslides, cloud bursts and glacial lake outbursts have increased four-fold during this period, causing massive loss and damage. Chamoli, Haridwar, Nainital, Pithoragarh and Uttarkashi districts are the most vulnerable to extreme floods.
Abinash Mohanty, Programme Lead at CEEW, said, “The recent devastating flash flood in Uttarakhand is further proof that the climate crisis can no longer be ignored. In the last 20 years, Uttarakhand has lost more than 50,000 hectares of forest cover, leading to micro climatic changes in the region. This in turn has triggered a rise in extreme climate events in the state.”
“The tragedy in Uttarakhand reiterates the need for detailed district-level climate risk assessments and enhancing adaptive and resilience capacities at various administrative levels. Further, given that vulnerable communities are often the most affected by extreme climate events, they must be made an integral part of risk assessment planning,” said CEEW CEO Arunabha Ghosh.
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