Natural Disasters

Jammu and Kashmir Floods: Caught unawares

Published: Tuesday 09 September 2014

Apex court seeks status report on flood relief and rescue work carried out in the state
Author: Vani Manocha
Expressing deep concern for people living in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central and state governments to ensure that food, drinking water and medicines reach even the last person. "I saw visuals on television that a large number of people are staying on roofs for survival and it is a challenge. Relief must reach them," said Chief Justice of India Justice RM Lodha, according to an NDTV news report.
Despite having a history of floods, Jammu and Kashmir did not have a disaster management system in place. Panic returns as more rains predicted
Author: Soma Basu
After the extreme rains that caused floods and claimed over 200 lives in the state, Jammu and Kashmir got some respite on Tuesday as floodwaters began to recede. But the Met office has now forecast more rains in the region in the next 48 hours, which may hamper ongoing rescue efforts.
While climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events, traditional system of flood management through lakes and connected water channels has been forgotten. This makes flood and devastation inevitable
Author: Sunita Narain
THE FLOODWATERS devastating large parts of the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir caught the people and the government unawares, it is said. But why should this be so? We know every year, like clockwork, India grapples with months of crippling water shortage and drought and then months of devastating floods. This year offers no respite from this annual cycle but something new and strange is afoot. Each year, the floods are growing in intensity.
Government will have to internalise the fact that climate change is going to affect us more and more in the future
Author: Chandra Bhushan
The flood in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) is again a grim reminder that climate change has started to hit India hard. But there is a complete denial on part of the Indian scientific community and the government to link extreme weather events with climate change.
Members of the apex disaster management body asked to leave after new government came to power at Centre
Author: Soma Basu
While Jammu and Kashmir is still reeling from the impact of the most devastating floods in recent history and Vadodara in Gujarat is bracing for a flood-like situation, the apex national body for managing disasters is without a functional head.
Putting a stop to unmindful concretisation of lake beds and drainage channels can save cities from disastrous floods
Author: Sushmita Sengupta
As Jammu and Kashmir battles one of the worst floods in decades, environmentalists have blamed encroachment of the wetlands in the valley as the main reason for this devastation. The Kashmir valley is dotted with wetlands which play a very important role in controlling flood in the region.
Standing crop over thousands of hectares in the country has been destroyed by the floods that have wreaked havoc in India as well
Author: Soma Basu
Floods in Pakistan have claimed over 200 lives and left nearly a thousand people homeless in the Punjab, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Gilgit Baltistan regions of the country. The four eastern rivers in Pakistan-Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Jhelum are in spate and it is estimated that 28,538 people have been affected in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Punjab.
Floods destroy standing crops; in July, hailstorm had damaged farms and orchards
Author: Soma Basu
As floods washed away belongings of flood-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre has intervened to ensure food availability to them. Union food and public distribution minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, has directed senior officials of Food Corporation of India (FCI) to camp at Srinagar and closely monitor the availability of food grains in the affected areas of the state. During a review meeting held by the ministry, officials were asked to ensure adequate and timely supply of food grains through food distribution system to the affected people.
Pictures show Jhelum river in spate and an overflowing Dal lake
The National Remote Sensing Centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has put out satellite images of the floods in Jammu and Kashmir. The images from RISAT 1 shows that heavy rainfall has resulted in floods in different parts of the state in September. The situation has been aggravated due to rise in the water levels in the river Jhelum. The affected districts include Anantnag, Pulwama, Badgam, Kulgam and Rajouri.
State did not have forecasting system or a disaster management plan in place
Author: Soma Basu
The devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir that has so far claimed 150 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands was unforeseen. The state, because of its history of conflict, was not as privileged as the other Indian states to have a flood forecast system or a disaster management plan in place.
Illegal structures had mushroomed on river banks, clogged channels
Author: Soma Basu
In flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, the streets of the state's summer capital, Srinagar, resemble surging streams. River Jhelum has been flowing 1.5 metre above the danger mark. Chief engineer, Flood Control and Irrigation Department, Javid Jaffer, says that the state's river and flood channels could carry 65,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water, while the current discharge is over 90,000 cusecs.
Maximum temperatures in mountain region may rise by 0.5°C to 2.5°C, says state action plan on climate change
Author: Jyotsna Singh
Floods in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed scores of lives and caused widespread damage may not be a one off event. Such extreme events in the Himalayan region are bound to increase because of global warming, warn experts. "The whole Himalayan range is vulnerable because of rising temperatures.
Withdrawal period extended as the southwest monsoon fails to follow its timetable for bidding adieu
Author: Akshay Deoras
September 30 this year will be an ordinary Tuesday for most people but it will be a special one for the southwest monsoon. Monsoon's epic journey, which started around mid-May this year, will be coming to an end on September 30 as the season officially ends that day. All India rainfall during June 1 to September 4 is 14 per cent less than the normal rainfall. Believe me, it's a pretty satisfactory number unlike what was being anticipated when the season commenced amidst an El Nino buzz. The El Nino which was supposed to shape rainfall pattern in these months didn't turn up, but the monsoon which was supposed to fail in its performance performed very well.
Survivors of the Uttarakhand flash floods share hair-raising tales of their ordeal
Three months after the disaster, Down To Earth revisited the devastated regions of the state to report the Himalayan challenge of rehabilitation
Story in images

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