- UN-supported initiative says the deluge caused Rs 105 lakh crore in damages, affected 36 lakh people
Srinagar: A United Nations-supported initiative, the Annual Disaster Statistical Review 2014, has listed last year’s flood in the state as the world’s costliest natural disaster, which resulted in US$16 billion (105 lakh crore) damages.
The losses caused by Cyclone Hudhud, which had hit several eastern coastal areas of India, were about 7 billion US dollars, followed by losses amounting to 5.9 billion dollars caused by a winter storm in Japan, the Review said.
In terms of the number of people affected, Kashmir flood has been the eighth worst disaster. As per the report, 36 lakh people were affected. With about 300 people dead, Kashmir flood has been listed as the fifth most deadly disaster worldwide in 2014.
The figure of Rs 105 lakh crore cited in the report was the loss estimated by the previous government in Jammu and Kashmir immediately after the flood. It later submitted a curtailed estimate of Rs 44,000 crore to the government of India. The ruling PDP-BJP coalition, it has been learnt, has further cut the losses to Rs 17,000 crore. People are yet to receive any financial relief.
According to the review, the “economic impact of a disaster usually consists of direct consequences on the local economy (e.g. damage to infrastructure, crops, housing) and indirect consequences (e.g. loss of revenues, unemployment, market destabilization).
“Estimates of disaster damages must be treated with caution because of (a) the financial value of infrastructures which is much higher in high-income countries than in middle-and low-income countries; and (b) the low reporting rates of direct losses which is however better for large disaster
Published annually by Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), the review has, however, erroneously mentioned Jammu, not the Kashmir Valley, as the epicenter of the loss, prompting netizens to file an online petition on change.org, which has asked the organisation to rectify the error.