304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Himachal Pradesh, a state known for its natural beauty, snow-capped Himalayas and beautiful landscape, attracts millions of national and international tourists every year. However, the hilly state is now reeling under a continuous cycle of landslides, cloudbursts and flash floods. According to the Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Plan, temperature and rainfall patterns are changing in the state, which has increased the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as river and flash floods, avalanches, cloudbursts, landslides and forest fires. The frequent occurrence of landslides is one of the problems encountered due to topsoil erosion. Also, damage to marine aquatic life due to water projects and cement plants in Himachal is a problem of serious proportions.
At least ten people, including five women and a two-year-old girl, were killed and 60 others feared trapped under the debris after several vehicles, including a bus carrying 24 passengers, were hit by a landslide on the highway near Nigulsari in Himachal’s Kinnaur. district in August 2021, Himachal Pradesh officials said.
“Humans are the creatures that pollute the world and they are the ones who have to save it, there is no other way,” says environmentalist Aarna Wadhawan. Yesterday she visited Pinegrove School, Kasauli to motivate them to take action against soil erosion. Aarna warned the children that as the youth powerhouse of the country, if they do not take action to stop the deforestation disaster, the country must bear the consequences and therefore they will be responsible for the climate crisis. She reminded the youth of the tragedy in Kinnaur caused by heavy rains.
Himachal is paying the price for ignoring climate change. Aarna Wadhawan briefed the students of Pinegrove School in Himachal about methods to prevent soil erosion by planting trees. She explained to them the importance of planting vegetation.
The Himalayan snowpack in Himachal Pradesh, which feeds four major river systems, has decreased by 18% in a year, a sign of climate change. If there is a shift in the pattern of snowfall, as has been observed in the past few years, it will have long-term implications for water availability in catchments, as seasonal snowpack contributes to river discharge during the lean season. If such fluctuating trends continue for a long time, they affect the weather cycle, resulting in erratic rain, snowfall and heat and ultimately water availability.
Previously, the pleasant rain lasted for a week, but now the rainy days have decreased and the intensity of the rain has increased.
Glaciers are also now melting at a rapid rate. Water from the glaciers combines with heavy rain, causing flash floods in the area. A warm wind picked up, colliding with huge cold clouds. So the humidity drops very strongly in the form of cloud breaks. Cloudburst incidents then lead to floods and landslides that cause severe damage to infrastructure in the state.