In Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, there has been a furore due to heavy rains after cloudburst at many places. The floods that followed the cloudburst have caused huge loss of life and property in these hilly states. The situation has become so bad that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have had to say that they are closely monitoring the situation. He has assured all kind of help. Every year there are reports of cloudburst in the hill states during this season. However, many people remain confused about the meaning of cloudburst. They think that the disintegration of a cloud into pieces is a cloudburst. It is wrong to think so. after all what is cloudburstHow do they burst, why do cloudbursts happen in the mountains? Come, know the answers to all these questions here.
What is cloudburst?
Actually, ‘cloud burst’ is a technical term. According to meteorologists, when a lot of rain falls at one place at a time, it is called cloud burst. To understand this concept, the example of a balloon filled with water can be taken. Just as a water-filled balloon bursts, the water starts falling rapidly at one place. Similarly, when a cloud full of water bursts, the water droplets suddenly start falling very fast. It is also called ‘cloudburst’ or ‘flash flood’. According to Britannica.com, a cloudburst is a ‘sudden, very heavy’ rain. It takes place at a particular place for a short period of time.
When do clouds burst?
Cloudburst occurs when clouds with a lot of moisture stay in one place. The water droplets present there mix with each other. The density of the cloud increases with the weight of the droplets. Then suddenly it starts raining heavily. Cloudburst usually occurs with thunderstorms.
Why do clouds burst more on mountains?
Actually, clouds filled with water get trapped in the mountains. Their height does not allow the clouds to move forward. Due to this, suddenly it starts raining heavily at one place. As the water does not stop on the mountains, it comes down rapidly. Whoever comes in its way takes it away. This is the reason for the great devastation. Who can forget the devastation in Kedarnath in Uttarakhand in 2013? Then the Mandakini river took a fierce form due to heavy rains in Kedarnath Dham.
How can people avoid loss of life and property?
The Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority (USDMA) has mentioned several incidents related to cloudburst on its website. Along with this, many suggestions have also been given to reduce the loss of life and property. The authority suggests that people should live in areas with strong land on slopes for safety reasons rather than in valleys. In areas where the land is cracked, appropriate steps should be taken to prevent rainwater and water from entering. It suggests that ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘unscientific’ construction works should be banned.
Shocking pictures from the mountains
Several images and videos of cars overflowing and hotels suffocating in the heavy rain following a cloudburst on Monday emerged from Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. Two people are reported missing in the floods triggered by heavy rains in Kangra district.
Explainer: Destruction in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand due to cloudburst… what happens after ‘cloudburst’, why do clouds burst?