Disaster in Uttarakhand: A Warning and a Wake-up Call

Monika Koul & Gaurav Kumar


INDIA woke up to yet another disaster on 7 February 2021. The devastation was a grim reminder of an even more devastating disaster in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in the year 2013 – one of the worst natural disasters in India after the 2004 tsunami. 

The state of Uttarakhand encompasses many fragile high altitude Himalayan ecosystems. Natural disasters such as cloud bursts, earthquakes, floods, avalanches, and forest fires are common in the region. The state also has glaciers, enchanting mountain views, and major religious temples.

The state has witnessed several natural calamities in the past. Even as the state was still coming out of the misery and mourning of the 2013 disaster, the most recent calamity forces us to ask the question: Were we really caught unawares? Or have we kept on ignoring nature’s warnings time and again? There is no doubt that we have disturbed the Himalayan ecosystems and perturbed the ecological processes. Nature is now all set to take revenge...read more