Disasters relate to extreme impacts from hazardous physical events on human, ecological, or physical systems resulting in alterations in the normal functioning of a society and livelihood disruptions. Climate change assessment has also in turn projected alteration in frequency of physical events including climate and hydro-meteorological extremes that are likely to exacerbate the stress on human and natural systems. Adverse impacts of climate change on society often increases disaster risk (recent events unfolding in Himalayan Region of India is a testimony), disasters themselves erode environmental and social resilience, and thus increase vulnerability to climate change. Moreover climate variability is projected to result in more frequent and intensive disasters - with the most severe consequences on infrastructure, food security and livelihoods of natural resource and dependent vulnerable communities. Since both disaster risk (including climate associated disaster risk) and climate related vulnerabilities are likely to undermine the economic sustainability and development it is therefore planned that disaster risk management strategies and climate change adaptation planning be integrated in context of development and development planning towards promoting sustainability in social and economic development. The physical and social determinants of disaster risk and climate vulnerabilities are dependent upon the intensity of the extreme events and the level of exposure and vulnerability. The impacts of hazardous physical events including climate extremes disproportionately affect resources, poor communities with little access to alternatives, exposure, and vulnerability. Strategizing disaster risk mitigation technique (reactive, adaptive, and anticipatory) or adaptation planning therefore requires a thorough assessment of the social profile including the vulnerability of the region; exposure of the community to extreme events or chronic risks, development practice and preparedness. Plan should therefore be to improve the understanding of disaster risk, foster disaster risk reduction and promote continuous improvement in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery practices. Reduction in the rate of depletion of ecosystem services, improvements in urban land use and territorial organization processes, strengthening of rural livelihoods, specific advances in urban and rural governance, enhancing awareness, capacity building of the communities and poverty reduction are few of the effective strategies
The J&K state is a multi hazard prone region with natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, landslides, avalanches, high velocity winds, snow storms, besides manmade disasters including road accidents and fires etc. Human activities disturbing the ecological balance in most of the case directly results in disastrous event or exacerbate the natural disaster. Observation exhibited that construction of road under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) schemes or railway track has altered stream course, discharge areas and closed aquifers due to lack of geo-hydrological assessments while sanctioning or developing the projects. Moreover the unauthorized and unplanned construction on the river banks has disturbed the river ecosystem. Sand and gravel dredging or top soil denudation for brick industry to support growing real estate industry have significantly enhanced the human induced disaster risk in the eco sensitive zones of the State. With projected increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme events including cyclones, droughts, and floods, disaster management seeds greater attention.The projected increase in the occurrence of extreme events is likely to include:
- Increase in areas affected by drought
- Increase in areas affected by heavy precipitation and floods
- Areas affected by earthquakes, landslides, soil creeps and avalanche falls
Apart from the projected hydro-meteorological hazards viz. floods, droughts and cloud-bursts there are likely scenarios of natural hazards such caused due to earthquakes, landslides and snow avalanches.
(Data Source: State Action Plan on Climate Change - J&K)