Haphazard development is increasing the impact of weather events

reasing the impact of weather events

Syllabus: World geography

Western disturbance

Are tropical storms that originate in the Mediterranean region and normally bring winter rainfall to north India.

  • However, right from the beginning of this year, the WD have been erratic – too few of them in December and January – several of them incident over north India in the last two months (a time when they normally should not be around).
  • Cause: partly due to a warming Arctic that causes the polar jet stream, which carries moisture, to deviate from its regular path and bring the disturbances to north India during the monsoon.
  • Consequence: July saw record rainfall in many parts of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand – Yamuna nearly spilling into the Red Fort in Delhi – multiple floods in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand – A series of landslides has crumbled buildings and blocked highways.
  • Issue: warnings by scientists and environmentalists of the perils of wanton construction in the Himalayas must be factored in – ill-thought construction and haphazard building practices have magnified the risk to residents who live in these regions – building project has led to large-scale altering of the mountains

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