Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Flooding catastrophe in Kashmir (audio)

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; NDTV; Shirin Jaafari (The World,
(NDTV, 9-9-14) Coverage of the current flooding in the Kashmir Valley, Himalayas, India.
Environmentalists say the unprecedented deluge in Jammu & Kashmir state this year and last year's devastating flash floods in Uttarakhand state, when at least 5,000 were killed, both have the same cause: urbanization, reduced forest cover, and an erratic monsoon [due to an unstable climate]. Authorities in both states ignored warnings from meteorologists, magnifying the disaster that was waiting to happen. At least 150 have been killed in J&K, which is submerged with tens of thousands are waiting to be rescued.
Kashmir is India's only Muslim-majority state. It should have gone to Pakistan at Partition in 1947 but the local in charge pledged it to India instead. Muslims are mistreated by Indian police and military. So they resist and strive for independence and are willing to accept help from Pakistan, which would invade if India left. China nibbles all around the edges. Buddhist Ladakh higher up the Himalayas wants independence, too, swamped as it is by Kashmiris.

A journalist returns to his hometown in Kashmir after the worst flood in a century
Buddhist India or Ladakh is in J&K state
KASHMIR, disputed Himalayas - (PRI) People living in India and Pakistan [or Afghanistan and China] are no strangers to heavy rains.

Each year the monsoon season brings downpours. But today, the Kashmir region [which includes all four of these countries] is dealing with one of the worst floods in a century. [Thank you, Climate Chaos and our polluting friends in the West.]
Over the past ten days, heavy rains have left more than 450 people dead and many are still missing. For author and journalist Basharat Peer, what's happening there is very personal. He grew up in Kashmir and his parents still live there.

As soon as he heard the news about the flood, he left New Delhi, where he lives today, to look for his parents. "My city was like an enormous trash can full of sad, grieving people," he says.
"My old neighborhood was under 20 feet of water," he adds. "The house I spent ten years in, you couldn't even see the roof. It was all gone."
Peer says the phone networks and Internet were down and that made getting news of residents there even more difficult.
The neighborhood Peer's family lived in wasn't significantly damaged, but he says his parents had to flee their home and sleep on the roof of a shopping mall.

(NDTV) Jammu and Kashmir state, India, floods: Nearly 150 dead as the state is witnessing its worst flood in 50 years. The Indian Army has launched a major rescue operation and evacuated 11,000 people by deploying 100 columns of troops in flood-hit areas of the state. PM Narendra Modi reached Jammu and assured the state government of central assistance. More video
Some have called it Kashmir's "Katrina." And Kashmir residents are not happy with the government's response to the flood.
"It's in some ways the response that came from Pres. Bush at that time," Peer says. "The head of the local government had a similar response, which was of utter failure."
Peer says there is normally a huge police presence in Kashmir, but after the recent flood, the biggest operation to help people came from civilians.
"You could see doctors [and] filmmakers all becoming volunteer aid workers," he says. More
Los Angeles is praying for rain while they drown beneath the Himalayas
APTOPIX Southern California Heat
LAists desperately try to survive the heat

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