The horror of June 2013 is etched in Rajendra Singh Negi’s mind. On June 12, 2013, he travelled a few kilometres from his village to the town of Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand on some work.
Heavy, incessant rainfall started the next day and water levels rose alarmingly in the Garhwal Himalayas at the confluence of the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers, headwaters of the Ganga.
“On the morning of June 17, 2013, around 7.30 am, I saw a wall of water more than 20 feet high rush down the Mandakini,” Negi said. “It looked like the end of the world.”
Days of extreme rainfall had dumped billions of litres of water over the western Himalayan region. Between June 13, 2013, and June 19, 2013, the mountain state of Uttarakhand received excess rainfall of nearly 850%. As a result of the unprecedented deluge, more than 6,000 people died in northern India and parts of Nepal, and