Topic Day Mitigation Measures Avalanches

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Mitigation measures for Avalanches

Avalanches can be mitigated by the following ways. These can be classified into structural and non-structural measures:

Structural measures:

  1. Planting (Avalanche Prevention Forest)
  2. Stepped Terraces
  3. Avalanche Control Piles
  4. Avalanche Control Fence
  5. Suspended Fences
  6. Snow Cornice Control Structures
  7. Protection structures such as stopping, deflecting and retarding structure

Non-structural measures:

removing snow deposits on slopes by blasting, predicting avalanches and evacuating people from vulnerable areas.


Recommendations of the Working Groups at the Regional Workshops

  • Identification of villages prone to avalanches should be done by district authorities and Snow & Avalanche Studies Establishment’s (SASE) manpower should be strengthened and they may do the vulnerability assessment and zoning of vulnerable districts. Community, which is repository of traditional wisdom, should be involved in vulnerability mapping.
  • Awareness is another key for preparedness. Slant slope houses are one of the better construction practices. Community needs to be made aware of this.
  • Plantation and afforestation are other methods of avalanche mitigation. This may be taken up by the district authorities and the community as a method of effective mitigation.
  • Regular press briefings should be held and a nodal officer should be appointed.
  • Mock drills, simulation exercises, benchmarking, development of indicators and certification could be used as methods to assess and evaluate level of preparedness. National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) may develop some such indicators.

Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE)

  • Center for Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) is one of the laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organization located at Chandigarh with its primary function to do research in the field of snow and avalanches and to provide avalanche control measures. The establishment provides forecasting support to the Armed forces. The SASE is the nodal agency for issuing advisories and warnings about the avalanche in the country.


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