Lack of proper disaster management: Valley has increased risk of higher damage

FARZANA SYED. Dated: 12/1/2015 7:27:39 AM

SRINAGAR, Nov 30: The lack of disaster preparedness in valley increases its risk of vulnerability manifold towards damage during the natural calamities.
Though Kashmir valley has always been declared as highly prone to earthquakes yet the absence of proper disaster management adds to the risk of damage and destruction.
Before the deadly 2005 earthquake struck Kashmir valley the experts have been warning of an earthquake of a higher magnitude any time. The experts are aghast over the lack of an appropriate disaster management in valley.
According to the data revealed by the authorities over a dozen earthquakes have jolted the valley in past several months.
Prof. Ismael Bhat the former Head of the Department of department of Geophysics Kashmir University said that given the risk of a high magnitude earthquake the disaster preparedness should have been the priority with the administration.
He said the absence of disaster awareness could increase the risk of high damage manifold incase a natural disaster strikes valley.
“Kashmir is included in the highest earthquake prone zones. Despite that no steps have been taken by the administration to strengthen the disaster management. Lack of awareness among the locals regarding the construction and above all the lack of proper disaster management has brought the valley at a higher risk,” Prof. Ismael said.
He added, “There was an immediate need to start developing a firm attitude towards disaster preparedness. Natural calamities can strike anytime; therefore we have to be prepared so that the damage can be minimised.”
According to the information provided by the officials, around half a dozen tremors have jolted the valley in the past two months.
Prof. Shakeel Ahmad Romshoo who heads the department of Geology and Geophysics at Kashmir University said that the government needed to take instant steps towards reinforcing the disaster management and techniques in valley.
He said there was an immediate need to disseminate awareness among the people regarding the natural calamities particularly earthquakes.
“We cannot say when an earthquake is going to strike however given the vulnerability of our place we can at least prepare ourselves so that the damage can be minimized. We need to develop a culture of disaster preparedness. Ironically the approach of the administration towards disaster management has been pathetic. We recently saw it during September floods. Kashmir valley lacks a much required and proper disaster management plan,” Prof. Romshoo said.
He added, “Besides organizing the awareness programs the administration should develop a proper disaster preparedness mechanism at ground level. We cannot wait for a deadliest disaster to wake us up from the slumber. There was an immediate need that a proper disaster management be introduced in valley as soon as possible.”



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