News

Snow avalanches killed 100 other folks in remaining 3 years

Srinagar, Feb 25:
Around 100 people have lost their lives in a series of avalanches triggered by
heavy snowfall in the last three years.

According to the
data released by the Meteorological department Kashmir, 100 persons have been
killed by 28 snow avalanches in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh since 2017.

“Highest number
of deaths was recorded in 2019 when 48 people died in 18 avalanches. In 2018,
four avalanches caused 18 deaths. Around 34 people died in six avalanches in
2017,” the data reveals. 

Most of these
avalanches occurred from November to April.

An avalanche is a
rapid flow of snow down a hill or mountainside. Although avalanches can occur
on any slope, certain period of year and certain locations are naturally more
dangerous.

Deputy Director
MET Kashmir, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad said the severity of the avalanches has been
increasing in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh due to the heavy snowfall recorded over
these years.

“We are
witnessing untimely heavy snowfall in the last few years. It has caused great
damage to life and property. It has killed scores of people and destroyed
hundreds of residential houses and other structures,” he said.

Professor Shakeel
Romshoo, Department of Earth Sciences said the intensity of snowfall is
directly proportional to the factors leading to avalanches.

“The casualties
due to snow avalanches have seen a spurt over the years especially in the
difficult landscapes of Gurez, Drass, and Tangdhar,” he said.

 Romshoo noted that the ill-planned
constructions in these regions make the inhabitants susceptible to the
calamity.

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“The Disaster
Management Department should come up with Avalanche Hazard Zones, which maps
the vulnerable areas and ensures that no construction activity takes place,” he
said.

Despite calling
repeatedly, Director Disaster Management Jammu and Kashmir Amir Ali was
unavailable for comments.

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