Saturday, Oct 01, 2022
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HELL IN THE HIMALAYAS

Sorrow Avalanche

Geologists are not surprised by the scale of the Uttarakhand tragedy

Sorrow Avalanche
Sorrow Avalanche
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

According to scientific estimates, the loss of human lives in what the Uttarakhand chief minister called a “Himalayan tsunami” could be as high as 25,000 or more. That would be no exaggeration, say geologists who have studied the Himalayan region and prepared plans to better protect the ecologically sensitive region and its people from disasters such as the one that struck on June 16.

Glaciologists of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) have studied Kedarnath and the surrounding areas in great detail. With his team, Deepak Srivastava, a former director of GSI and an eminent glaciologist, has explored the region. The reasons they offer for what happened and for the scale of the tragedy are not surprising: the number of visitors to the shrine and the tourists in the region has increased enormously, causing immense damage to the ecology. Ill-planned construction of hotels, ashrams, eateries and businesses has added to the depredation on nature.

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