Extreme rainfall events and associated natural hazards in Alaknanda Valley´╝îIndian Himalayan region

Entire Himalayan region is vulnerable to rain-induced (torrential rainfall) hazards in the form of flash flood, cloudburst or glacial lake outburst flood. Flash floods and cloudburst are generally caused by high intensity rainfall followed by debris flow or landslide often resulting into blockade of river channels. The examples of some major disasters caused by torrential rainfall events in last fifty years are the flash floods of 1968 in Teesta valley, in 1993 and 2000 in Sutlej valley, in 1978 in Bhagirathi and in 1970 in Alaknanda river valleys. The formation of landslide dams and subsequent breaching is also associated with such rainfall events. These dams may persist for years or may burst within a short span of its formation. Due to sudden surge of water level in the river valleys, havoc and panic are created in the down stream. In Alaknanda valley, frequencies of such extreme rainfall events are found to be increasing in last two decades.