Climate change causing avalanches, cold injuries to soldiers

Mar 07, 2018, 21:43 IST | IANS

Admitting that climate change in high altitude areas was having an impact on soldiers stationed there, the government told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the adverse impact is visible in form of avalanches and cold injuries

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Admitting that climate change in high altitude areas was having an impact on soldiers stationed there, the government told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the adverse impact is visible in form of avalanches and cold injuries.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said special clothing and training is being provided to soldiers to mitigate the impact.

"High Altitude Army Bases have been created over the years after due reconnaissance and detailed evaluation of the terrain conditions," Bhamre said.

"The adverse impact of climate change are in the form of avalanches, cold injuries like frost bite and chilblains, snow slides and scarcity of water," he said.

The Minister said adequate safety precautions are exercised by the ground troops at such Army bases.

"Special extra-cold climate clothing and survival training against avalanches is also provided. Special medical care is provided to troops located in such inhospitable terrain," he said.

In December last year, three soldiers and an Army porter were killed while two soldiers went missing in two avalanches that hit north Kashmir's Kupwara and Bandipora districts.

In February this year, three soldiers were killed and another injured after an avalanche in the Machil sector in north Kashmir's Kupwara district.

In February, 2016, ten soldiers died when an avalanche hit an Army camp in the hostile Siachen glacier.

The 10 soldiers were buried under nearly 30 feet of ice and snow when the avalanche hit the Sonam post of the Indian Army on the Siachen glacier, at an altitude of around 20,000 feet.

One of them, Lance Naik Hanamanthapa Koppad, was found alive after he remained trapped under the snow for about six days, but later succumbed to multi-organ failure at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi.

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