February 21, 2024

HPAS/Allied Mains 2022 Answer Writing Challenge Day 67 : Model Answer

Question Explain the hazard vulnerability and risk profile of Himachal Pradesh. (8 Marks 120 Words)


UNDERSTANDING OF QUESTION: directly list the hazard profile of the state as according to disaster management authority of the state  
IntroductionState of Himachal is prone to various hazards both natural and manmade. Main hazards consist of earthquakes, landslides, flash floods, snow storms and avalanches, draughts, dam failures, fires – domestic and wild, accidents – road, rail, air, stampedes, boat capsizing, biological, industrial and hazardous chemicals etc. The hazard which however, poses biggest threat to the State is the earthquake hazard. 

EARTHQUAKE:-From seismicity point of view, the state of Himachal Pradesh which forms a part of NW Himalayas is very sensitive. During the last century the state has been shaken by a number of micro as well as macro earthquakes. As per the earthquake hazard map of state , the areas falling in districts Chamba, Kangra, Mandi, Kullu, Hamirpur Bilaspur are very sensitive as they fall in Very High Damage Risk Zone (MSK IX or More) i. e. Zone V, where as the rest of the areas falls in High Damage Risk Zone (MSK VIII).

LANDSLIDES:- Another form of the natural hazards in the state is the occurrences of landslides. The hills and mountains of Himachal Pradesh are liable to suffer landslides during monsoons and also in high intensity earthquakes. The vulnerability of the geologically young and not so stable steep slopes in various Himalayan ranges, has been increasing at a rapid rate in the recent decade due to inappropriate human activity like deforestation, road cutting, terracing and changes in agriculture crops requiring more intense watering etc.

AVALANCHES :- The higher hills comprising the districts of Kinnaur, Lahaul & Spiti, Chamba, and Kullu are particularly vulnerable to the hazards of avalanches, and the destruction caused as a result of avalanches in the past in Himachal Pradesh though not widespread is confined to the higher reaches of the state only. Avalanches have also the history of damage in Himachal Pradesh

RIVER FLOODS:- Floods are another from of natural disaster which the state experiences every year. Due to the diverse topography of the area, the flood problem in the state is largely isolated in Nature. High monsoon rains in the area of the Shiwalik and lower and mid Himalayan ranges cause extensive floods during rainy seasons. In the upper reaches of the Beas and Satuj valley the main problems are flash floods and bank erosion because of the steep slopes of rivers and high river flows due to heavy rains. Often the flash caused due to cloudbursts, glacial lake outbursts and temporary blockade of the river channels have been also observed. As a result of breaches in embankments and damage to various utilities such as irrigation/flood control schemes and houses are also observed.

GLACIAL OUTBURST:- There are 3,300 glaciers in the Nepalese Himalayas and 2,300 of them contain glacial lakes. These lakes are quietly growing because of rising temperatures, but a sufficiently close eye is not being kept on them, campaigners say. Nobody knows how many are close to bursting, and no steps have been taken to establish early warning systems for the villages downstream. A burst lake would cause flash floods which could sweep away people, houses, roads and bridges in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India.

Stampede:-  The State is known as land of Gods. Many famous temples are located in the State such as Sri Naina Devi, Baba Balak Nath, Sri Chintpurni, Ma Jawalaji, Ma Braheswari and Sri Chamunda Nandikeshwari Dham to name a few. Large number of devotees throng these places every year. A human stampede at the temple of Naina Devi occurred on 3 August 2008. 162 people died when they were crushed, trampled, or forced over the side of a ravine by the movement of a large panicking crowd. Possibility of such instances is always there if there is any laxity on the part of the management.

ConclusionHazards kill many people and this loss can be mitigated using clever human planning and management according to NDMA. 
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