Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 228–236 | Cite as

Extreme rainfall events and associated natural hazards in Alaknanda valley, Indian Himalayan region

  • Joshi Varun Email author
  • Kumar Kireet 


Entire Himalayan region is vulnerable to rain-induced (torrential rainfall) hazards in the form of flash flood, cloudburst or glacial lake outburst flood. Flash floods and cloudburst are generally caused by high intensity rainfall followed by debris flow or landslide often resulting into blockade of river channels. The examples of some major disasters caused by torrential rainfall events in last fifty years are the flash floods of 1968 in Teesta valley, in 1993 and 2000 in Sutlej valley, in 1978 in Bhagirathi and in 1970 in Alaknanda river valleys. The formation of landslide dams and subsequent breaching is also associated with such rainfall events. These dams may persist for years or may burst within a short span of its formation. Due to sudden surge of water level in the river valleys, havoc and panic are created in the down stream. In Alaknanda valley, frequencies of such extreme rainfall events are found to be increasing in last two decades. However, the monthly trend of extreme rainfall events has partly indicated this increase. In most of the years extreme rainfall events and cloudburst disaster were reported in August during the later part of the monsoon season.

Key words

Flash flood Cloudburst Extreme rainfall Alaknanda valley Himalaya India 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. AGARWAL, A. & NARAIN, S. 1991. Floods, Flood Plains and Environmental Myths. Center for Science and Environment, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  2. BHANDARI, R.K. & GUPTA, C. 1985. Problems of Landslides in Himalaya and Future Directions. In: J.S. Singh (ed.), Environmental Regeneration in Himalaya: Concepts and strategies. The Central Himalayan Environment Association and Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital. Pp. 39–57.Google Scholar
  3. CHALISE, S.R. & KAHNAL, N.R. 2001. Rainfall and Related Natural Disasters in Nepal. In: Tianchi, Li, Chalise, S.R. and Upreti, B.N. (eds.), Landslide Hazard Mitigation in the Hindu Kush-Himalyas. ICIMOD, Nepal. Pp. 63–70.Google Scholar
  4. CHALISE, S.R. 1998. Headwaters in Changing Climates: A Review of Hydrological and Related Issues in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya. In: Singh, R.B. (ed.), Ecological Technique and Approaches to Vulnerable Environment. Hydrosphere-Geosphere Interaction. Oxford and IBH Publ, New Delhi. Pp. 177–197.Google Scholar
  5. CHAPHEKAR, S.B. & MHATRE, G.N. 1985. Human Impact on Ganga River Ecosystem. Concept publishing Comp. New Delhi.Google Scholar
  6. DEOJA, B., DHITAL, M., THAPA, B. & WAGNER, A. 1991. Mountain Risk Engineering Handbook, Part I&II. ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal. Pp. 875.Google Scholar
  7. JOSHI, V 1999. Effects of Cloudburst in Himalaya, India. In: D.K. Agarwal, A.P. Krishan, V. Joshi, K. Kumar and LMS Palni (eds.), Perspectives of Mountain Risk Engineering in the Himalayan region. Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital.Google Scholar
  8. JOSHI, V. & KRISHNA, A.P. 2000. Control Measures for Soil Erosion, Landslides and Debris Flow in Hindu-Kush Himalayan Belt of People’s Republic of China. Indian Jour. of Soil Cons. 28(1): 1–6.Google Scholar
  9. JOSHI, V. & NAITHANI, A.K. 2002. Landslide Hazard in Garhwal Himalaya, India: Strategies for road landslide management. In: R G Mclnnes and J. Jakeways (eds.), Instability-Planning & Management. Published by Thomas Telford, UK. Pp. 701–712.Google Scholar
  10. JOSHI V., NAITHANI, A.K. & NEGI, G.C.S. 2001. Study of Landslides in Mandakini River Valley, Garhwal-Himalaya, India. GAIA 16: 87–95.Google Scholar
  11. JOSHI, V. & MAIKHURI, R.K. 1997. Cloudburst: a Natural Calamity-a Case Study from Garhwal Himalaya, U.P. Jour. Indian Building Congress IV(1): 207–219.Google Scholar
  12. KIMOTHI, M.M., GARG, J.K,. JOSHI, V., SEMWAL, R.L. PAHARI, R. & JUYAL, Navin 1999. Study of the Slope Activation and its Impact on the Madhyamaheshwar and Kaliganga Sub-watersheds, Okhimath Tehsil (Central Himalaya), Using High Resolution IRS-1C/1D Data. Scientif Report, SAC/RESA/FLPG-FED/04/99. Pp. 38.Google Scholar
  13. SIDDIQUI, K.M. 2002. Global Change Impact Assessment in the Himalayan Mountain Region of Pakistan-a Case Study of Siran Valley. In Global change Impact Assessment in the Himalayan mountain Regions Recourse Management and Sustainable Development. Country study report for year 2002. APN Project.Google Scholar
  14. SINGH, G.S. & SEN, K.K. 1996. Causes and Consequences of Cloudbursts at Kullu districts in the Himachal Himalaya. Himalaya Paryavaran 4(1): 13–16.Google Scholar
  15. UPADHYAY, D.S. 1995. Cold Climate Hydrometeorology. New Age International Publication, New Delhi. Pp. 135.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development Sikkim UnitGangtokIndia
  2. 2.GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development Kosi-KatarmalAlmoraIndia

Personalised recommendations