Climate adaptation planning ‘could have prevented’ Uttarakhand deaths
India’s vulnerability to extreme weather was exposed this week when floods killed at least 130 people with thousands reported missing.
The monsoon arrived early in the northern state of Uttarakhand, bringing with it 375% more rain than in previous years.
The sheer weight of water that hit an area known as India’s ‘holy land’ is hard to overstate. It suffered 60 hours of continuous and heavy rains coupled with cloudbursts between Friday 14 June to Monday 17 June 2013.
This resulted in increasing water level and floods in the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, which the NGO ActionAid say was what triggered the massive devastation of infrastructure and loss of lives.
But along with thousands of people and their livestock, poor planning and coordination at state and national level has been savagely exposed, raising serious questions over India’s climate adaptation strategy.