2013 North India floods

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Information about this intervention
NASA satellite imagery of Northern India on 17 June, showing clouds that led to the devastation

In june 2013, major floods and landslides occurred in the Uttarakhand state, in the Himalayan mountains of North India. More than 1000 people have dead and many still missing[1]. For more details see 2013 North India floods on Wikipedia.

View the map on OpenStreetMap- Approximate region affected.

Flash flooding in the mountains and some flooded areas of cropland downstream.

This wiki page is to coordinate remote mapping for HOT contributors around the world. Collaboration of people with contacts in the Uttarakhand region would greatly help to adjust to the priorities of the humanitarians on the field.


  • Humanitarian Mapping Project (HMP), Mid-june 2013 For HOT contributors, this is the first step of intervention where we start mapping, assess the situation, re-evaluate regulary and decide actions to be taken. The HOT contributors responded quickly by mapping areas where damages and casualties were reported (See town/city mapping below).
  • The situation is re-evaluated regularly to decide to stop the action or to provide more ressources. A formal Activation with the highest priority for HOT will be started if the situation justify it (ie, coordination with other organizations intensify and more ressources are needed)
  • Activation request to the Digital Humanitarian Network from Seed India, July 4 2013 Following this request, HOT joined the DHN solution team, and started the process to identify and map over 4,000 villages impacted by the flood in four districts of Uttarakhand state. Remote mapping coordination is done through the HOT Tasking manager, job 274. Bing High-res imagery is used to map this area.

Coordinators of this action : Pierre Béland and Andrew Buck

For more information : contact the HOT Support Team at info@hotosm.org

HOT Tasking Manager
HOT HDDM Style : Humanitarian focused OSM base layer
OSM Extract : Overpass Query for Uttarakhand village places

OSM tools

For people to map remotely, to do Field Data Collection or analyse the DATA, the OSM community provides various tools and services.

Bing Aerial Imagery Analyser for OpenStreetMap is used to validate if Bing high-res imagery is available in the area to study.

HOT Field Data Collection

Field Data Collection Support

Both HOT and Mapaction Teams can support organizations that want to collect Field data.

The OSM Tools section ahead list various tools. We also offer tools and tutorials specific to the Field Data Collection.

Identification of priorities and local facilities to support displaced people

If you are in contact with local NGO or you have knowledge of the area, you can contribute to geolocate and describe various public facilities and shelters. Please report any established priorities expressed by the local NGO's to the HOT Discussion list. This will facilitate the coordination with the HOT contributors.

Local mapping information

If anyone can report on which bridges are out and other road connections effected, please be in Contact the OSM community or dive in and edit the map!

Remote mapping work to do

Some bing coverage of the area and potential to add and refine mapping of...

  • Town details. See below
  • Connecting roads / tracks / paths. Many of these towns are isolated and the main roads connecting to these areas need to be completed.
  • River details. Starting with larger rivers first. It is also important to trace streams coming from the surrounding mountains and to locate the residential areas. See below.

According to a BBC article, there are currently over 1000 dead from the flooding and the town of Kedarnath (now fully mapped) is the worst affected. Downstream city of Haridwar also suffered damage. Extensive damage to the roads in the area is reported. The state capital Dehradun is the base of the relief effort and some evacuees have been taken there.

Town/City mapping

Dehradun is a big city with lots of potential for mapping of roads from bing to do. Start with larger roads first to get the main network in. Some rivers too. Checking road/rail/air access is probably a priority too. Haridwar was affected due to the floods and is another important town to start with.

You can contribute to remote mapping : Task Manager Jobs
Area Task Manager job Comments
Haridwar Job 260
Harsil area Job 263
Badrinath and Mana Job 264
Kedarnath This area has been mapped. More than 1000 dead reported in this valley.
Sili and road to to NH121 This area has been mapped
Tilwara No Bing high-res imagery available for this area
Chamoli Gopeshwar Bing Imagery only partly available.

River mapping

You can help river mapping across this large area of mountains. The challenge is to try to focus efforts on larger more significant missing rivers. It is also important to locate the residential areas, to trace a polygon around these areas and to add the tag landuse=residential.

Easiest is to look at the following map and start with resolving the notes: view the map here, which shows terrain and some 'notes' for missing rivers.

Zoom in on a red note, and edit the map to add in missing waterway=river ways. 'resolve' the note when it's done.

watch a video illustrating this

Please don't hesitate to resolve any note where there is now a river added by you or anyone else. Harry has quickly sprinkled these notes across this large area to indicate missing large rivers (judgements based on viewing the terrain contours using OpenCycleMap) An even larger area to the North East is probably also relevant, but the challenge will be to use judgement about what is a larger more significant missing river.

In JOSM, OpenCycleMap layer can help find areas with important slopes and to track Waterways in these areas. You can also look out for landuse areas and to create a polygon around these areas (landuse=residential).

Identify villages in four districts of Uttarakhand

Coordination is done through the HOT Tasking manager, job 274.

Other information

Relief efforts are on going, but weather conditions are forecast to be worsening soon. IMD Satellite picture captures present weather conditions (delay of around 2-3 hours).


  1. 1,000 Dead and Many More Missing After Floods Hit Northern India NYTimes 22. June 2013. Retrieved 22. June 2013.