Valley prone to high level damages: Experts

FARZANA SYED. Dated: 2/9/2018 2:40:19 PM

SRINAGAR, Feb 8: Despite being highly vulnerable to natural calamities, Kashmir valley lacks proper disaster management which according to experts has escalated the risk of massive damage that a calamity can bring along.
The experts are of the opinion that the lack of disaster preparedness in valley increases its risk of vulnerability manifold towards damage during the natural calamities.
While Kashmir witnessed worst of the floods in September 2014, the occurrence of earthquakes and tremors has remained frequent in Kashmir.
Pertinently, Kashmir falls under the highly seismic zones prone to earthquakes with higher magnitude while the absence of proper disaster management adds to the risk of damage and destruction.
As per the data available with the meteorological department, over a dozen tremors have struck the valley during past one year. The experts fear that lack of reinforcement of disaster management techniques could prove damaging for Kashmir.
Prof. Shakeel Ahmad Romshoo who heads the department of Geology and Geophysics at Kashmir University said that the immediate initiatives needed to be taken by the administration towards reinforcing the disaster management techniques in Kashmir.
He said that implementing proper disaster management along with awareness among the people, was the need of the hour that could minimise the risk of damage and destruction caused by earthquakes or other natural calamities.
“An earthquake cannot be predicted but the massive damage it causes can be avoided if acute disaster management techniques are adopted by the authorities. It is known that Kashmir valley is prone to earthquakes therefore the need of the hour is to prepare ourselves in this regard," Dr Shakeel Romshoo said.
He said, "We cannot stop the earthquake but we can develop a culture of disaster preparedness to avoid the massive damage it brings along."
Dr Romshoo said that approach of the administration towards disaster management has been callous with the result the risk high damage escalates manifold.
He said the administration must have developed proper disaster preparedness techniques at all levels to cope with any natural calamities Kashmir is prone to.
"We have seen that due to lack of disaster management a chaos prevailed in Kashmir during 2014 floods. Such an episode would have been enough to wake the admin up from deep slumber. Moreover earthquakes are very frequent in valley also. Therefore the need of the hour is to introduce the management techniques as immediately as possible," Dr Romshoo revealed.
Prof Ismael Bhat former Head of the Department of department of Geophysics Kashmir University said the disaster management must have been a priority with the government considering the vulnerability of the state towards natural calamities like floods or earthquakes.
He said the absence of disaster awareness could increase the risk of high damage manifold incase a natural disaster strikes valley.
"Despite knowing the vulnerability of Kashmir towards earthquakes or floods, no initiatives have been taken by the administration to strengthen the disaster management in Kashmir," Prof Ismael said.
The experts are of the opinion that there was a need to disseminate awareness among the people across valley vis-a-vis construction of the houses and other structures to avoid the risk of high damage.



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