Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Himachal disaster of Aug2023

It was not a bumper to bumper deluge in Himachal Pradesh (& Uttarakhand) but the rains of 14Aug2023 came close enough to the floods and landslides of Jul2023
The satellite image and moisture incursion images which STH posted at 630.am on 14Aug2023 in its WhatsApp group proved rather prophetic, in view of the disaster which was to follow in Himachal later:

Meteorological conditions
Though the met. conditions which led to the intense rainfall were similar to that which occurred in July, Dr Dave Petley whom I consulted gave a rather interesting reason for the landslides which took place:
Me:  Is the western disturbance/ monsoon current combination in the NW Himalayas   responsible for this intensity of rain? 
• We get more rainfall in the eastern Himalayas but landslide disasters are more frequent in Himachal and Uttarakhand these days.
Dave:Often landslides are triggered by the variation from the mean intensity for a location more than the intensity itself. I guess the landscape is more adapted to very extreme rain in the east than in the west. HP and Uttarakhand seem to get repeated events that exceed the mean by a long way now.
Rainfall data

Significant rainfall recorded (in cm):
✓ Uttarakhand:
Dehradun: Rishikesh-42, Sahastradhara-25, Uni, Mussoorie, Raiwala-19 each, Mohkampur-18, Jollygrant-17, Chakrata- 8, Haripur-7, PAURI GARHWAL: Lansdown-17, Yamkeshwar-15, Kotdwar-11, Rikhnikhal-10, Satpuli- 9, Srinagar -7; CHAMPAWAT: Chalthi-16, Bastia-14, Tanakpur- 10, Champawat-9, Champawat-8, Lohaghat-7; TEHRI GARHWAL:
Rani_Chawri-15, Tehri-12, Devprayag-14, Koteshwer, Narendranagar-8 each, Dhanolti, Ghansali-7 each; BAGESHWAR: Liti-16, Song-8, Kanda-7, UDHAM SINGH NAGAR: Jaspur-10; PITHORAGARH: Didihat-8, Berinag, Jauljibi-7 each,
✓ Himachal Pradesh:
Kangra (dist Kangra) 27, Sujanpur Tira (dist Hamirpur) 25, Dharmsala (dist
Kangra) 25, Palampur (dist Kangra) 22, Guler (dist Kangra) 19, Jogindarnagar (dist Mandi) 18, Nagrota Surian (dist Kangra) 18, Kataula (dist Mandi) 17, Sundarnagar (dist Mandi) 17, Baldwara (dist Mandi) 15, Mandi (dist Mandi) 14, Shimla (dist Shimla) 13, Dharmshala (dist Kangra) 13, Barthin (dist Bilaspur) 13, Simla (dist Shimla) 13, Berthin (dist Bilaspur) 12, Gohar (dist Mandi) 12, Nahan (dist Sirmaur) 11, Ghumarwin (dist Bilaspur) 10, Kasauli (dist Solan) 10, Paonta (dist Sirmaur) 9, Dalhousi Alha (dist Chamba) 8, Nadaun (dist Hamirpur) 8, Bilaspur Sadar (dist Bilaspur) 8, Arki (dist Solan) 8, Kufri Aws (dist Shimla) 8, Mashobra (dist Shimla) 7, Aghar (dist Hamirpur) 7, Rohru (distShimla) 7, Mehre (barsar) (dist Hamirpur) 7, Kandaghat (dist Solan) 7
Early warning:
The rainfall forecast together with antecedent rainfall should have been important indicators of the disaster which followed plus IIT Mandi had been working on a sensor base LEWS (Landslide Early Warning System) project for some years now. Placed below is an image of the early warning which is available online from the NRSC website:

Disaster Details
Much information is available in YouTube and in the media on the disaster. STH is awaiting for more specific inputs besides those already available. What is known is that more than 50 persons perished in yesterdays' rainfall and the landslides which followed.
Will keep posting updates as and when available.

Update on the landslides.
See here for Dr Dave Petley's post on the '14August Landslides in Himachal'

Update on the road situation as on 16Aug2023.
Road Situation Report  upto  1900  Hrs. –
1) NH 21 Mandi-Kullu Via Pandoh road blocked at various places due to land sliding.
2) Mandi-Kullu via Kataula road closed due to restoration work till 10 Am tomorrow.
3) Sundernagar- Chail Chowk –Gohar- Kullu road  through upto Pandoh for LMV only and Pandoh to Aut blocked at Kainchi Mor (near Pandoh Dam)  due to heavy sliding.
4) NH 21 Mandi –Sundernagar -Slapper  and four lane via Dehar road through  .
 5) Mandi to Karsog via Rohanda blocked due to land sliding, Karsog to Luhri road blocked at Kotlu/Shilh and Karsog to Shimla Road through.
6) Mandi to Dharampur blocked at Saroli and Dharampur to sandhol road blocked at Sarari, Sakloh due to land sliding.
7)  Mandi to Sarkaghat blocked at Durgapur  and Sarkaghat to Dharampur  road through via Paplog.
8) NH 154 Mandi –Padhar  road through for LMV via Diana park.
9) Nerchowk-Kalkhar , rewalsar  road  blocked at various places  due to land sliding.
10) Mandi to Janjehli road blocked at various places due to landsliding and Janjehli-Karsog via Raigarh blocked due to land sliding and janjehli  to chatri road blocked at Magru gala.
Weather Cloudy.

Update from NDTV (17Aug2023)

At least 71 people have died in the past three days and 13 are still missing in Himachal Pradesh after devastating rains pounded the state, with Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu terming the work of rebuilding infrastructure a "mountain-like challenge". The death count from landslides and flashfloods jumped on Wednesday as rescuers pulled out more bodies from the rubble of collapsed buildings, officials said. Heavy rains have battered the hill state since Sunday, triggering landslides in several districts including Shimla where three areas -- Summer Hill, Fagli and Krishna Nagar -- are badly hit by landslips.
"At least 71 people have died in the past three days and 13 are still missing. As many as 57 bodies have been recovered since Sunday night," Principal Secretary (Revenue) Onkar Chand Sharma said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Sukhu said that about 60 people have died since Sunday night.
In an interview with PTI, Mr Sukhu said his state will take a year to rebuild the infrastructure wrecked by the heavy rains this monsoon and claimed that the estimated loss in the two devastating spells of heavy rains - this week and in July - is about ₹ 10,000 crore.
The chief minister said it takes time to rebuild roads and water projects. But the government is speeding up the process. "We have to get the infrastructure fully restored within a year. I am working with this in mind." "It's a big challenge, a mountain-like challenge," he said. According to the state emergency operation centre, in total 214 people have died in the rain-related incidents in the state since the onset of monsoon on June 24 while 38 are still missing.
"Rescue operations are going on in Summer Hill and Krishna Nagar areas...one body was recovered from Summer Hill site," Shimla Deputy Commissioner Aditya Negi told PTI. He said so far 13 bodies have been recovered from Summer Hill, five from Fagli and two from Krishna Nagar. Some bodies are still feared buried in the debris of the Shiva temple at Summer Hill that collapsed on Monday. About 15 houses in Krishna Nagar have been vacated and the families shifted to safer places. Several others have vacated their homes themselves fearing slides due to incessant rains.The Education department had ordered closure of all schools and colleges in the state on Wednesday due to inclement weather and the Himachal Pradesh University has suspended teaching activities till August 19.About 800 roads are blocked in the state and the losses suffered by the state since the onset of monsoon on June 24 have crossed ₹ 7,480 crore, officials said, adding as many as 10,714 houses have been completely or partially damaged so far.Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri has urged the Centre to declare national calamity in Himachal Pradesh and release ₹ 2,000 crore for restoration works.

 Update from The Statesman (20Aug2023)

Update from NDTV (21Aug2023)
Ten people, who were trapped in a reservoir in Himachal Pradesh since last evening, have been rescued, officials said.
Officials said their boat got stuck in the Kol Dam reservoir in Mandi yesterday due to rise in water levels following incessant rain.
Five of those who were stuck in the reservoir are employees of the forest department, they said.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was rushed to the spot after locals informed the police about the incident.
More than 338 people have died in Himachal Pradesh in rain-related incidents since the onset of Monsoon this year, while 38 people are missing, according to the state emergency operation centre.
Incessant rain has led to landslides, cloudburst, and flash floods, causing significant damage in the State. The government of Himachal Pradesh has declared the whole state as a 'natural calamity affected area'.
According to the latest information provided by the state government, the total monetary loss in Himachal has reached ₹ 8,014.61 crore since June 24.
Update about Himachal landslide of 24Aug2023

From Dr Dave Petley's blog

Update about Himachal landslide of 31Aug2023

Update about Himachal landslide of 03Sep2023

Praful Rao
Kalimpong district
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

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