Avalanche most commonly refers to the sliding of huge mass of snow, ice and rocks rapidly down an inclined slope such as a mountainside. We all know that snow is a welcome feature in winters. It has a dark side as well, it comes unannounced at a rapid speed. It is a no notice calamity almost parallel to earthquake. The precise predictions for the same is not possible. Assessments accompanied with alarm and alert are dependent purely on the climatic conditions.
The risk of avalanche is at its peak during winter season and precisely more over the hills. Avalanche is a result of incessant rain and snow activity that keeps stacking the snow and they ultimately collapse because of their own weight.
Post Avalanche, the rehabilitation and recovery are very challenging. This is because the terrain is very different with challenging conditions such as inclement weather conditions wherein the temperatures are sub zeros. In addition to all this, hostile environment is also there.
Another grey aspect of this is that the recording of such Avalanches is very limited. Due to lack of manned observations, instruments, keeping an eye over the larger area is almost next to impossible.
Recording of the avalanche events is very limited. We get to know about the avalanches only then when there is a news on loss of lives because of the same. Such a thing is happening quite often now. These events can be gazed through the pictures via remote sensing or through satellites. It will help in finding out how grave is the situation.
There is an establishment called, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) headquartered at Chandigarh which provides precision avalanche forecasting support to the services including advice on avalanche control measures, enhance avalanche forecasting capability through systematic data collection in cryospheric regions and creation of snow cover information system.
With a fresh spell coming this February 25, the risk of avalanche cannot be ruled out. It could extend up till fortnight as well. Avalanche prone areas like Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh of Jammu and Kashmir state are advised not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
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