Recent Major Disaster Events in the State
1) Snow Blizzard at Waltengu Nad (Kulgam district) February, 2005:
On 18th Feb 2005 a snow blizzard occurred in villages Waltengu Nad, Pachgam and Nigeenpora affecting 128 families consisting of 618 souls. During the incident 175 lives (54 men, 48 women and 73 children) were lost. In many cases full families were wiped out. 183 sheep/goats, 308 cows, 54 buffaloes and 5 horses perished.
2) Kashmir Earthquake, October, 2005:
On 8th October, 2005 a devastating earthquake of magnitude 7.6 resulted in 953 deaths and 418 injuries in J&K (also more than 80,000 deaths in PoK. This was one of the deadliest earthquakes in the sub-continent. 23,782 houses were fully damaged in the quake in J&K. 40.3% of the deaths comprised children below 10 years of age, thereby depicting their vulnerability and signifying the importance of school safety. The presence of Army in the affected areas proved to be a great healer for the people, as Army was among the first responders who, with the help of IAF, managed to airlift hundreds of injured people to different hospitals in Srinagar and Baramulla.
3) Leh Cloudburst and Flash floods, August 2010:
On the intervening night of August 5 - 6, 2010, Leh witnessed a devastative cloudburst followed by flashfloods. The unprecedented event resulted in the death of over 250 people and damage worth crores of rupees. The areas in and around Leh, especially Choglamsar, where people had constructed houses along the dry water course had no idea that the stream could get flooded and wash away everything whatever came in its way. The Relief and Rehabilitation activities carried out in the affected villages by the Army, Civil Administration and the NGOs were appreciable, as there was total harmony and no duplication of activities. The courage, dedication and zeal of the local community including the Ladakh Buddhist Association and the Islamic Trust revealed that human relations were at its peak during the disaster. However, the need for greater cooperation between Army and Civil Administration was felt during search and rescue operations. The traditional village-level institutions through the village-head played a crucial role in the recovery of the affected areas.
4) Cloud burst at Bagger ( District Doda), June 2011:
A cloud burst occurred at Bagger in District Doda on 8th June 2011, where 17 structures got washed away and three people died. The dead bodies got washed away and have not been traced till date.
5) Traffic Accidents:
In the recent years J&K has recorded more deaths in traffic accidents than due to militancy. The death toll in road mishaps is almost double the number of people killed in militancy last year. In the year 2011 alone 889 people died and 7,178 were injured in 5,053 accidents (till ending July 2011). A large number of traffic violations have also taken place for which 3,29,651 vehicles have been fined for violations this year.
These events clearly demonstrate the need for an effective mechanism for disaster management at State and lower levels.
(Data Source: J&K State Disaster Management Policy 2011)