Mathematical model coming up to forewarn of floods, landslides

A year after the devastating deluge in Uttarakhand, Central Water Commission (CWC) is developing mathematical models to "quickly" assess the extent of damage landslides may cause in the Himalayan states of the country.

New Delhi: A year after the devastating deluge in Uttarakhand, Central Water Commission (CWC) is developing mathematical models to "quickly" assess the extent of damage landslides may cause in the Himalayan states of the country.

These models would come in handy to forewarn residents of localities which fall in the vicinity of the trouble zone about the impending danger, besides alerting authorities to take necessary steps to protect lives and property.

Also, it would help in a big way to allay fears triggered by landslides, top officials of Ministry of Water Resources told PTI.

"Take the case of recent floods in Kosi river and landslides. Reports were rife that there would be serious implications. But, when we analysed it using mathematical model, we found that the intensity of the river would reduce gradually, though flood waves were high in the upper regions," an official observed.

Mathematical models are abstract models, which use mathematical language to describe the behaviour of a particular system.

With maps and pictures, experts design the model to analyse the pressure of flood waves. This would give a clear picture on the pressure of flood waves, behaviour of the river and whether landslides would be detrimental.

In certain cases, pictures could be clicked from the spot for this purpose.

According to sources, the mathematical models would be developed for river basins of Himalayas falling in states including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand.

"It works in two ways. If there is an imminent threat, information would reach people and authorities to swing into action. Otherwise, it can help prevent panic," an official said.

Hundreds perished in the unprecedented flash floods caused by cloudburst in Uttarakhand in 2013. This led to massive landslides in the Himalayan state, cutting off several villages on the slopes from the rest of India for a few days. 

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