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No failure on part of MeT in Uttarakhand calamity: Govt

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 20:44

New Delhi: There was no failure on the part of the MeT department as it had issued warning of heavy to very heavy rains in Uttarakhand and also advised state authorities to postpone the Char Dham Yatra just before the disaster, government has said.

"As far as issuance of severe weather warnings by the Earth System Science Organisation - Indian Meteorological Department (ESSO-IMD), there was no failure," Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) S Jaipal Reddy said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha yesterday.

"ESSO-IMS`s Dehradun Centre had issued forecast of isolated heavy to heavy rains (12-24 cm) on June 15, 2013 for Kedarnath, Joshimath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri for three days, including the advice to postpone the Char Dham Yatra accordingly to designated state-level authorities," Reddy said.

The minister said during June, upstream of Kedarnath, the glacier was covered with thick snow and there was a heavy snowfall just before the event.

"Adding to this, continuous rains and snow melting caused waters in the Chorabari Lake to rise. The lake`s weak moraine barrier gave way and a huge volume of water along with glacial boulders came down in its wake.

"Very heavy rainfall in the entire catchment regions of Mandakini, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi and other river basins further increased the magnitude of floods in the state," Reddy said.

In response to the disaster, further augmentation of observing systems network comprising of Doppler Weather Radars, Rain Radars, Automatic Weather Stations, Rains Gauges and snow gauges expansion had been formulated over the western Himalayan region, he said.

In addition to this, the MoES is also augmenting high performance computing facilities, forecast and warning systems and product dissemination systems.

First Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 20:44

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