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A Documentation of the natural disaster resulting from the Uttarakhand Avalanche from New Satellite Images

One would obviously wonder how a disaster that saw 30 people die and left more than 170 missing may have come about. Thanks to a satellite, there are high-resolution images that tell the whole story. They clearly show how it was before the glacier burst and even more interesting events before the actual ordeal. Therefore, one can tell the strength of this particular avalanche clearly. Going by a picture taken on Feb 6, there is a clear ridgeline. It is covered with snow and ice, which is a part of the Trishala glacier. Interestingly, a huge portion of the ice was no more after the avalanche in reference to a photo taken on Feb 8.

Another affected area, besides where the avalanche occurred, is several kilometers from the spot of focus. Just like the other area, it was also covered by snow before the avalanche. However, that changed on the D-day, and again, a huge chunk of snow and ice also went missing. Another area that registered change was the river not far from the Tapovan hydel plant since it was washed away following the avalanche. Before the incident, on Feb 6, it was a stream quite narrow with green water flowing downstream. However, that was different on Feb 8 since it was broader than the day before and instead of green water flows brown mud. The bottom line is that the whole area fell victim to destruction following the avalanche.

Additionally, the Tapovan hydel plant that existed on Feb 6 is no more. That’s all because the avalanche happened the following day when the landslide’s path and dust were hard to go unnoticed. The day after the disaster, Feb 8, dust was no more, but the field of debris left behind was evident.

From experts, there are high chances that it was ice and a block of rock initially. Upon hitting the valley floor but not before rolling for about two kilometers, the end product was an ice avalanche and a huge rock. They rolled down the glacier at a relatively high speed. In the process, a lot of dust was seen and is evident on the valley side as per the satellite images. Then, the unfortunate Uttarakhand disaster happened. It is important to note that the landslide turned out to be a flow of debris, eventually. According to experts, there are high chances the ice was crushed and melted due to the huge amount of heat that the avalanche generated. As a result, the heat triggered fragmentation, and the ice also melted.

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