Cold Trap Severe Winter Keeps Killing as Govt Drags Feet on Policy (Download PDF)

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In Uttar Pradesh 30 people are reported to have died due to recent cold wave. Nagaland witnessed a surprise rainfall in December 2019, after a long gap of 40 years. December 28,2019 was recorded as second coldest day of Bihar’s Patna in the decade.

  • On 31stDecember 2019, Tikamgarh and Nowgong in Madhya Pradesh recorded coldest day temperatures.

  • Recent years have recorded increased number of cold wave incidents.

  • Cold waves have fatal impact on human health, that’s why increase in the number of cold wave incidents is a serious cause of concern.

Cold Trap Severe Winter

Cold Trap Severe Winter

Cold Trap Severe Winter

Overview

  • Despite the lethal impact of cold waves, the preparedness of India is dismal.

  • Cold waves are rarely recorded and studied in our country.

  • It was only in 2012, after the death of 722 people, that National Disaster Management Authority notified “Cold wave and Frost” as natural disasters.

  • Unlike droughts and floods, NDMA has not yet issued any guidelines exclusively dealing with cold waves.

  • None of the states consider cold wave as a natural disaster.

  • 23 states of India have action plans in place for dealing with heat wave, but none of them have plan/framework/guidelines to deal with cold wave.

  • There is an urgent need that NDMA and states draw action plans to mitigate the effects of cold wave.

  • As per the data, 8,169 people have been killed in 39 years till 2018, making an average of 200 deaths per year.

  • The deaths caused by cold waves are more than those due to heat waves in 22 of 39 years.

What Caused the Cold Wave

  • Cold waves were caused due to active Western disturbance in North and Northwest India from 10 to 14 December last year.

  • The moisture brought by Western disturbances resulted in the formation of low-lying clouds, which blocked the sunlight’s way from reaching the surface and led to cold day conditions.

  • The presence of pollutants in the atmosphere worsened the situation.

  • The cold day conditions persisted due to the development of high pressure area (anti-cyclone) developed by aforementioned factors.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 8, 2020

Environment/Ecology, Down-to-Earth

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