We all know that Sri Kedarnath Dham is one of the most pious places of Lord Shiva and an important pilgrimage. About a year ago there was a huge disaster where thousands of people lost their lives. Today attempts are on that the city of Kedarnath is settled again. A lot of funds have been granted to this project. However, before we start with these plans we must understand what exactly went wrong. Only when we understand the mistake we did that we can look at settling the city all over again. In this article on science behind the disaster at Kedarnath we will try to understand what the authorities can do to ensure that such a tragedy do not occur again.
Geographical Location and Parameters
Kedarnath is situated in a location that is very sensitive and dangerous. Some five rivers start from this location. Geographically if we look at it this is a flood plain. In every 100 years these rivers can flood causing enormous damage to life and property. Being such a sensitive area there is no point in making buildings on the banks of the river as they can be easily eroded away. This time when we look at making hotels and shops in Kedarnath we must ensure that they are built on the mountains and not on the valley as the valley is sensitive and can flood again. In the olden days people used to make their villages on the mountain slopes and not on the valley as they knew that such tragedy could occur.
Taking Forecasts Seriously
Although nature cannot be exactly predicted still the weather forecast must be treated seriously always else such a tragedy cannot be avoided. When there is a forecast that heavy rains may hit the area one must ensure that tourist movement is reduced and the temple is shut till the weather improves. Evacuation must be given top priority in such a case. Evacuation must start hours before as the area is always over crowded. Last moment evacuation is not the solution if such a disaster must be avoided. This if had been done could have ensured that many lives were saved.
Disaster Management Plan
The area is highly sensitive as a result the government must ensure that a well equipped and trained disaster management team is placed in the location. This will ensure that if at all such a tragedy happens again the loss of life and property can be minimized. These teams can work better when there is a crisis and ensure that they give proper protection to the travelers and the localities.
Lord Shiva: The Destroyer Remains Undestructed
Moving to the fact that all the houses and buildings in Kedarnath were destroyed except for the temple of Lord Shiva. The temple remained protected and the leaves and flowers on the Shiv Linga were intact. Apart from the fact that Lord Shiva protected the area, the credit also goes to the followers of Lord Shiva who originally designed and constructed the temple. The temple is quite old but it is entirely made of stone. The construction is such that it can absorb shocks up to any extent. The foundation of the temple is interconnected as a result it is so strong that no gush of water can move it.
Those who constructed the temple know that the location was sensitive and floods can be common in there. This is a huge learning for the modern man. We say that today we have technology that our ancestors never had. What is the use of this technology if we do not know the basics? As the temple was built in a way that it could absorb the tremendous shock nothing happened to it. If we plan to build buildings in this area then we have to also use the same technology and build houses and buildings that can absorb this kind of a shock. Today we do have the technology to make such constructions and this must be kept in mind when the holy city is again brought into action.
Many tourists tried to take shelter in the temple but that was a bad idea. The temple can handle shock but it is not designed to give shelter. Our ancestors ensured that the temple gives protection to the idol and it must be evacuated when there are signs of heavy rain. It clearly proves that our ancestors were very intelligent and they knew all the dangers associated with this area.
Learn From It
Many people lost their lives and properties worth millions were destroyed. Some bodies were never recovered. Those who survived had horror stories to say. We hope that we understand well the Science behind the disaster at Kedarnath and ensure that such catastrophe do not occur again. We must recognize the dangers that are associated with these areas and ensure that we take all the steps to protect the tourists and devotees.