Glacier burst reported in Sumna, Neeti Valley

On April 23, 2021, a Glacier burst occurred in Sumna, Neeti Valley located in Chamoli district in India-China border. A Border Road Organisation Camp came under the avalanche. The Indian Army has so far rescued 291 persons.

In February 2021, flash floods occurred in Chamoli district due to Glacial burst and killed dozens.

Earlier the breaking of Nanda Devi Glacier triggered avalanche, landslides and flash floods in the tributaries of the Ganges. The floods due to the breakage damaged two hydroelectric power projects.

Criticality of the Issue

According to United Nations ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) glaciers in India, Bhutan, Nepal and China says that these regions have lost a vertical foot and a half of ice since 2000. This is double the amount of melting that occurred between 1975 and 2000.

What causes Glacier Burst?

The Glacier Bursts are caused by the build-up of water pressure. The high temperatures coupled with less snowfall accelerates melting and causes water to rise to dangerous levels in glacial dams. This increases water pressure and leads to glacier bursts. The Glacial dams are formed when glaciers block the flow of water out of a lake. Unlike the usual lakes, the Glacial lakes are made of ice boulders that have the potential to burst the glacier banks. The Nanda Devi Glacier Burst that occurred in Uttarakhand might be because of one such reason. However, the real reason behind the Glacier burst is yet to be found.

The 2013 Kedarnath tragedy was due to cloudbursts.

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