The Himalayas, one of the young fold mountains of the world, are vulnerable to varied natural disasters. Discuss the types of natural disasters and the reasons for natural disasters in the Himalayan region.

Open in App

  • Briefly write about the Himalayas
  • Write various types of natural disaster occur here
  • And reasons for their occurrence
Himalaya Mountain is a newest, youngest, and tallest folded mountain system in the world. It is unstable as tectonic movements are very active. Its fragility and vulnerability can be noticed from the facts that the entire Himalayan region has been receiving extreme natural calamity.

The Himalayan Mountains are the only ‘living’ mountains in the world as the plate tectonic activities churning within the Himalayas are leading to an increase in its height. This internal turbulence within the Himalayas is solely responsible for their active seismic nature as corroborated by a large number of earthquakes traversing the entire belt from time to time, taking a heavy toll of life and property. Overall, more than ninety per cent of the earthquakes occurring in India fall within the Himalayan mountain zone and its foothills.

Landslides are defined as the mass movement of rocks, debris or earth down a slope dislodging earthen material on its way. Often they are associated with other calamities like earthquake, floods or volcanoes, involving the movement of earth. Prolonged rainfall also causes heavy landslides, especially in mountain areas devoid of vegetation cover, blocking the flow of river. These river blocks, if and when they burst, can cause havoc to the settlements downstream. Landslides are a common occurrence in the hilly states of India

Cloudbursts are sudden heavy rainstorm and its downpour. Generally, when clouds traversing pass over an area of low atmospheric pressure and temperature, vapours are condensed into raindrops, which fell on the ground by virtue of their weight. However, in mountains areas such as Himalayans clouds are multi-layered. When one layer traversing at higher altitude enter into a zone of extremely low atmospheric pressure,then suddenly all the vapours are converted into water simultaneously. This water-column, while falling from the height, also takes the water from the clouds of other lower layers and rapidly falls on the earth leading to cloud burst in Himalyans.

Forest Fire
In the Himalayas especially Western Himalayas comprised different forest types from alpine forests to semi-evergreen, deciduous, sub-tropical broad-leaved hill forests, sub-tropical pine forests and sub- tropical montane temperate forests. Geographically it extends to J & K, HP, UK and hill part of Punjab & Haryana dominated by a coniferous forest of Chir pine.
The major reasons for a forest fire in the hilly region are high fire fuel material of dry Chirpine needles and dry leaf litter of other trees on the forest floor.

Floods & Flash Floods in Mountains
Floods are caused by extraordinary intensive rainfall of longer duration. Every year, floods are recorded in one part of the country or the other. The major flood-prone areas of the country are already identified, yet there is a paucity of planned systematic strategy dealing with the floods. This lack has resulted in massive damages in the last 50 years. This also reflects a failure at the policy level.
In the Himalayan region, flash flood is one of the major disasters which causes heavy damage to human lives, livestock and property.

Suggest Corrections
Related Videos
Environmental Impact of Dams
Watch in App