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Uttarakhand Avalanche: A look at what caused the natural disaster and how deadly avalanche event can be

In the wake of Uttarakhand avalanche, a look at what sets off this natural disaster and how deadly an avalanche event can be.

October 04, 2022 / 07:32 PM IST
As many as 28 people were reported to be trapped following an avalanche in Uttarakhand. India has lost soldiers and civilians in such incidents earlier. A look at what sets off an avalanche, and how deadly this event can be. (Image: News18 Creative)
As many as 28 people were reported to be trapped following an avalanche in Uttarakhand. India has lost soldiers and civilians in such incidents earlier. A look at what sets off an avalanche, and how deadly this event can be. (Image: News18 Creative)
An avalanche is basically a falling mass of snow or ice on a mountainside. It slides down mountain slopes under the force of gravity and buries all that comes in its path. Avalanches can be quite deadly because of their speed and intensity. (Image: News18 Creative)
An avalanche is basically a falling mass of snow or ice on a mountainside. It slides down mountain slopes under the force of gravity and buries all that comes in its path. Avalanches can be quite deadly because of their speed and intensity. (Image: News18 Creative)
An avalanche has three main parts – the starting zone, the avalanche track and the runout zone. (Image: News18 Creative)
An avalanche has three main parts – the starting zone, the avalanche track and the runout zone. (Image: News18 Creative)
Avalanche speed varies according to their shape and size. Suring a slab avalanche, a slab fractures and slides on the mountainside. As it moves, it appears to shatter like a pane of glass. (Image: News18 Creative)
Avalanche speed varies according to their shape and size. Suring a slab avalanche, a slab fractures and slides on the mountainside. As it moves, it appears to shatter like a pane of glass. (Image: News18 Creative)
Wet avalanche usually occur when water percolates through the snowpack and decreases its strength, or in some cases, changes the mechanical properties of the snow. (Image: News18 Creative)
Wet avalanche usually occur when water percolates through the snowpack and decreases its strength, or in some cases, changes the mechanical properties of the snow. (Image: News18 Creative)
1970 Huascaran debris avalanche killed around 30,000 people. Triggered by the Ancash earthquake, this avalanche destroyed the Peruvian town of Yungay and ten nearby villages. (Image: News18 Creative)
1970 Huascaran debris avalanche killed around 30,000 people. Triggered by the Ancash earthquake, this avalanche destroyed the Peruvian town of Yungay and ten nearby villages. (Image: News18 Creative)
Deaths are mainly caused due to asphyxiation after being submerged in snow. But this is not the only way an avalanche takes its victim. Once the avalanche stops, the snow settles like concrete, making body movement nearly impossible. People die because there are no air pockets and carbon dioxide builds up in the snow around their mouth. (Image: News18 Creative)
Deaths are mainly caused due to asphyxiation after being submerged in snow. But this is not the only way an avalanche takes its victim. Once the avalanche stops, the snow settles like concrete, making body movement nearly impossible. People die because there are no air pockets and carbon dioxide builds up in the snow around their mouth. (Image: News18 Creative)
A look at the number of deaths due to avalanche in India. (Image: News18 Creative)
A look at the number of deaths due to avalanche in India. (Image: News18 Creative)
Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 4, 2022 07:32 pm