Cloud burst in Uttarakhand – What caused the disaster

Kedarnath (Hindi: केदारनाथ) is a Hindu holy town located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is a nagar panchayat in Rudraprayag district.

KedarNath Temple
Tragedy in Kedarnath

The most remote of the four Char Dham sites, Kedarnath is located in the Himalayas, about 3584m(11759 Ft.) above sea level near Chorabari Glacier, the head of river Mandakini, and is flanked by breathtaking snow-capped peaks. Kedarnath hosts one of the holiest Hindu temples, the Kedarnath Temple, and is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world, being one of the four major sites in India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage. Kedarnath is named in honor of King Kedar, who ruled in the Satya Yuga.

He had a daughter named Vrinda who was a partial incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. She performed austerities for 60000 years. In honour of her, the land is named Vrindavan. However, Kedarnath and its temple exist from the Mahabharata Era when the Pandavas are supposed to have pleased Lord Shiva by doing penance there.

Kedarnath Tradegy
This is horrible view of temple after flood

The famous Kedarnath shrine in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarkhand has been severely hit by the floods caused by the incessant rains the state has been receiving in the past few days. A portion of the Kedarnath shrine compound has been washed away, however, the temple authorities have said that there have been no reports of damage to the temple.

Officials said that the death toll may rise significantly once water recedes and relief teams are able to access the affected areas. A view of Govindghat area partly submerged in the flooded Alaknanda river in Chamoli district on Monday followed by heavy rains in Uttarakhand. More than 40 policemen, who were duty near the Kedarnath shrine, are missing as the rains continued to pound the state.

The toll in the cloudburst that struck Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand rose to 42 on Monday with the recovery of four more bodies from the debris of flattened houses in the worst-hit Ukhimath area of the district. Four more bodies have been recovered since last night and 20 are still missing, Disaster Management and Mitigation Centre officials here said.

 Ram Bada
The Ram Bada area, a busy spot near the temple, has been completely submerged

Search and rescue operations by ITBP and Army personnel are on, they said. Thirty eight bodies had been pulled out during rescue operations yesterday. The cloudburst in the wee hours on Friday wreaked havoc in Chunni, Mangoli, Kimana, Sansari, Giriya, Barhmankholi, Premnagar and Juatok in Ukhimath area of Rudraprayag, killing most of the victims in their sleep. Fifteen persons injured in the calamity are being treated at hospitals in Ukhimath and Srinagar, DMMC officials said.

The Ram Bada area, a busy spot near the temple, has been completely submerged and was not visible from rescue choppers. A view of the washed off buildings around Kedarnath Dham in Uttarakhand. Following the heavy rains, the Char Dham Yatra has been halted and hundreds and thousands of pilgrims are stranded enroute to Badrinath, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Yamunotri.

Mandakini River
A view of the overflowing Mandakini River damaging the bridge over it in Kedarnath Valley in Rudraprayag district.

According to weather analysts, rains which began on Saturday night in the hilly northern state and continued for the past two days may subside soon bringing some relief to the people of the region. Meanwhile, similar situation is expected to prevail over some regions of Uttar Pradesh. Weather experts at Skymet have predicted heavy to very rain, thundershowers over Pilibhit, Lakhimpur kheri, Bahraich, Srawasti, Gonda, Balrampur, Ahaharanpur, and Sitapur districts in the next 24 hours. Strong winds with speed of 50 to 70 Kmph are also expected. Hilly areas of tarai and Adjoining Nepal hills will also get affected.

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4 thoughts on “Cloud burst in Uttarakhand – What caused the disaster

  1. Neeraj, Thanks for this informative post. I think the reason for this disaster was the high population and people were cutting mountains and trees in short they were playing with natural environment in a wrong manner. That is why it all happened. But I want to pray for all those who died in this horrible Himalayan tsunami.

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