Post by RK News on Monday, July 10, 2023
Nature, otherwise revered as being kind and benevolent to the people of Kashmir valley, seems to be testing the grit of the government and people. Due to incessant rainfall in the valley, Jehlum River crossed flood alert mark at Sangam and Pampore on Sunday morning creating panic and uncertainty among the residents. At many places rainfall has caused the soil to lose its hold causing fear as landslides take a fresh toll in the valley. Though reports and Met department forecasts suggest that weather will improve from July 10 onwards but red warning has been issued for Kathua, Samba & other lower catchment areas of Jammu region as risk of flood, flash flood has increased considerably. In the absence of rains and pleasant weather on Sunday, the panic has to some degree subsided. The volume of water in Jhelum River on Saturday and Sunday also revealed the close shave that the place had with another calamity in the shape of flood. The devastation due to floods and landslides in 2014, which washed away stretches of land and resulted in immense losses to both life and property, need not be forgotten. As per Geological Survey of India, Jammu and Kashmir UT is one among the most vulnerable to landslide hazards. Not just hazards, the UT is at greater risk to severe landslides, the fact that is proved by year on damages to the National Highway. Hilly areas are more prone to sudden and greater damages. Apart from damage to life and property due to bad weather, some agricultural experts, botanists and florists opine tough year ahead, believing that fruit and crop produce will be affected due to winter's prolonging. To sum it all, these are trying times – the risks about floods, about landslides, about delayed and affected crop produce and the already acknowledged inconvenience of improper drainage ask for the administrators to be more than simply being cautious. Under no circumstance should the alerts be taken lightly. Though it is not possible to avert all the natural disasters, there is a scope for minimizing the damage. A comprehensive strategy should be in place to face any exigency in a coordinated manner. The professional response to preparedness, prediction and prevention of disasters is all the more important for a UT like Jammu and Kashmir which is vulnerable to natural calamities like earthquakes, floods, snow-storms, land-slides and cloud-bursts. A fool-proof mechanism of rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the disaster affected people also needs to be put in place. At least, the administration needs to be in a mode of alertness around the year.