The Himalayas, the youngest mountain range in the world, are known for their landslides and earthquakes. In recent years these natural hazards have been exacerbated by reckless development activity and the impact of global warming on the Indian sub-continent, which has seen an unpredictable monsoon and a rise in extreme events. Some say it is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. In fact the disaster has already happened -- in mid-June in India, during the peak tourist and pilgrimage season - flood waters and landslides ripped through the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand causing widespread devastation.
As India surveys the aftermath of the tragedy, there is introspection of what kind of development the country should take to ensure that development does not come at the cost of the environment and human lives. SciDev.Net South Asia brings you the story from ground zero – Uttarakhand.
This article has been produced by SciDev.Net's South Asia desk.