'Countries of Hindu Kush Himalaya braced for difficult monsoon season ahead'

The HKH region extends 3,500 km over all or part of eight countries from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east.
A woman walks by her damaged house after heavy flooding in the Khushi district of Logar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.
A woman walks by her damaged house after heavy flooding in the Khushi district of Logar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.(File Photo | AP)

The countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya are braced for what might be a difficult monsoon season ahead, with experts warning of above average temperatures, and higher rainfall than Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, according to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development or ICIMOD.

The HKH region extends 3,500 km over all or part of eight countries from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan are all expected to receive higher rainfall. And this rainfall will happen in a context of an overall warming trend: of higher-than-normal both minimum and maximum temperatures.

“In spite of the fact that last year was a year of below average rainfall in many parts of the HKH countries, we saw catastrophic floods hit region after region, community after community, in the mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalaya,” said Mandira Shrestha, Senior Water Resources Specialist at ICIMOD.

“In that context, this year’s monsoon outlook is worrying. It is also set against an overall warming trend, which we know is linked to greater melting of snow and ice and the loss of the permafrost – the hidden glue that stabilizes many mountain slopes, and whose thawing is often a key factor in the sorts of devastating flash floods and landslides we are now seeing across our region. This forecast is an alert for funders, multilateral agencies and disaster management authorities in governments: multi-hazard early warning systems in this hugely populated region of rising risk must urgently be rolled out.”

While some regions will grapple with deadly downpours, others will face searing heat between June to September 2024, said the press statement issued by ICIMOD.

As per the SASCOF-28 (South Asian Climate Outlook Forum) Climate Outlook, maximum temperatures for the month between June to September 2024 season suggest that, apart from some isolated areas, the seasonal maximum temperatures are most likely to be above normal over much of the region. The current heat wave is thus likely to continue through the monsoon with minimum temperatures also likely to be higher than normal.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com