Monday, May 7, 2012

Floods in Nepal

An editorial in the Himalayan: Given the rugged terrain of Nepal, it is very vulnerable to natural calamities. ...Such disasters can strike anywhere any time as happened when a flash flood of the Seti River wreaked havoc Saturday killing at least 14 people and more than 50 went missing. The floods caused immense damages in various parts of Kaski district.

...The flash flood occurred on Saturday morning. The Kharapani Bazaar which was swept away gets crowded with people during the afternoon with many merrymakers. Had the flood occurred then, the casualties would have been even higher. Even so, Seti River unleashed a terror the likes of which had not been seen for more than 50 years. The flash flood, according to experts, happed because of landslide and not an avalanche or the Glacial Lake Outburst Flood but this is not known for certain. This goes to show how vulnerable many settlements are to flash floods that could originate from any cause.

Keeping this in mind, there should be an early warning system that would alert the local populace when disaster looms. No doubt, this is not an easy proposition, but it is worth having the system for early watning so that in case of impending disaster, the local population could be evacuated to safety before any damage or loss of life could result. The rivers should be constantly monitored not only in the hills but also the terai where flash floods cause enormous damage. The authorities should have read the signs for it had been raining incessantly for three days in the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre region. Had the concerned been more vigilant, they might have actually foreseen that a disaster was in the making. But they failed to do so...

A suspension bridge near Annapurna, shot by Andrew Hyde, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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