Understanding Snow & Avalanches (E)
A first-hand look at ground zero in sub-zero temperatures to assess the hazards of snow bound regions. The high Himalayas are called the `third pole’ as they house some of the largest snow and ice outside the polar region. Snow poses its own challenges and the Defence Geoinformatics Research Establishment at Manali, Himachal Pradesh formerly called Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) a part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is the only lab of its kind in India that operationally monitors the cryo-hazards and offers avalanche forecasts and provides mitigation technology. They use computer models, satellite imagery, automatic weather stations and have range of observatories across the Himalayas to monitor snow cover. Also a discussion with Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain now Member National Disaster Management Authority and someone who has faced first hand avalanches in Kashmir. A rare inside look in the laboratories with Dr Lokesh Kumar Sinha a structural geologist and head of the facility.