Column – English

GLOF’s Sikkim shocker: Much before the flooding, local & green groups had flagged risks

The Times of India

Published on: October 14, 2023

Chandra Bhushan Chandra Bhushan

The year 2023 has witnessed significant upheavals in the Himalayas. The Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) in Sikkim that swept away humans, houses, bridges and a dam was the latest in a series of unsettling reports throughout the year. First came the sinking of Joshimath but it was soon overshadowed by devastating losses in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh during the monsoon season; unprecedented rainfall and widespread landslides caused significant loss of life and property, particularly in Himachal.

But these are only the first days of climate change. As global warming accelerates, we will see an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. In the Himalayas, this will translate to cloudbursts and accelerated glacial melt. These will lead to more landslides and avalanches, while glacial lakes will grow in both size and number.

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