Flood in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir has faced unprecedented floods of the century. Incessant rains in the first week of September lead to massive floods in the valley as well as in Jammu region.

A report prepared by Department of Environment, Ecology and Remote Sensing (DEERS) in collaboration with Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre, ISRO reveals that the floods in Jammu and Kashmir are a result of High rainfall in the catchments over short period of time, which were not less than cloud bursts and is a combine effect of the extreme event due to climate change and less capacity of our drainage system that failed to hold the quantum of water and it overflowed, which ultimately lead to floods.

There were incessant rains on September 4. For continuous 30 hours and in three days the rainfall touched 450 mm which was very unusual. Normally, rains take place in J&K from July to mid-September. On September 3 there was a rainfall deficit of 32 percent but on September 8 it showed excess of 18 percent i.e. a change of 50 percent in five days.

Lidder catchment received the maximum rain fall of 277 mm with adjoining catchments receiving around 200 mm of rainfall, this was way above normal. Various catchments like Vishu, Sandran, Bringi, Kuthar, Arbal, Rambiara Gazan, Doodhganga received very heavy rainfall leading to floods.

The report indicates that in all 557 sq km area was inundated. Out of this 444 sq km was agriculture land, 20 sq km horticulture land, 67 sq km built up area, 3 sq km forest area, 21 sq km wasteland and 2 sq km others. An approximate population of 22 lakh was affected covering 287 villages.

The report also suggests strategy to protect the cities from floods in future like feasibility study for construction of parallel flood channel from Sangam/Kandizal to Wular. Dredging on regular intervals, monitoring of sediments, land use, land cover, maintaining sanctity of Wetlands and Water bodies, climate change adaptation and mitigation etc have been suggested. It also suggests need for a multidisciplinary team to study hydrological response of each catchment.

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