- Locals and tourists have been advised to be alert
- Tehri, Pauri, Nainital and Champawat are some districts where 'heavy rain' alert was issued
- The IMD has already declared the arrival of monsoon in entire Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand weather alert: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said Uttarakhand is likely to receive heavy rain for the next four days. According to the weather department, an alert for heavy rain has been issued in Dehradun, Nainital, and Bageshwar districts.
"Heavy rainfall is likely in Dehradun, Tehri, Pauri, Nainital and Champawat districts on July 5, 6 and 7," added the weather office.
Heavy rain warning has also been issued in Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Nainital, Dehradun, Tehri, Pauri and Champawat.
Meanwhile, several trees were uprooted while vehicles were damaged after heavy rains lashed Dehradun on Monday.
Locals and tourists have been advised to be alert due to landslides, rock fall, debris on roads, erosion and water flow in river drains through sensitive areas due to heavy rains.
Monsoon arrives in Uttarakhand
As the IMD declared the arrival of monsoon in the state, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has given a slew of directions to the officials as part of the state's preparedness. Describing the next three months as important from the point of view of possible calamities, Dhami has asked the district magistrates to take most of the decisions at their level.
Experts maintain that the Himalayas are young and fragile, and therefore, highly sensitive to natural disasters such as landslides, earthquakes and floods, especially during the monsoon when its vulnerability to calamities is heightened.
Dr. Sushil Kumar, former Geophysics Group head at the Institute of Himalayan Geology, said as the Himalayas is a relatively younger mountain range, it consists of only soil on its upper surface up to 30-50 feet.
This soil begins eroding if it is tampered with even slightly, especially during the rains, leading to landslides.
He said cutting of the hills for construction of the all-weather road project, the huge rush of pilgrims for the Char Dham Yatra and increased rains due to the increased catchment area of the Tehri Dam have also increased the state's vulnerability to natural calamities.
Kumar said the loss of lives due to disasters can be avoided by putting in place early warning systems in the state, but for it to be effective, the government will also have to strengthen the internet network.
He also urged the government to build earthquake-resistant shelter homes for the population living in disaster-prone areas and motivate them to adopt building construction techniques that can protect them from earthquakes.
According to data from the Uttarakhand Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, around 600 people lost their lives and 500 others were injured in natural calamities from 2014 to 2020.
Hundreds of houses, other buildings, roads and bridges were damaged during this period. More than 2,050 hectares of agricultural land was also destroyed in these disasters.
(With inputs from agencies)