India: Monsoon Floods 2014 Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF Operation MDRIN014


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

The southwest monsoon has been vigorous across India in the beginning of September, triggering floods and affecting more than three million people across the country, with over 1,000 people dead. The states of Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir are amongst the worst affected. However, the crisis had not been severe enough to mobilize significant media and donor attention. In addition, it was observed that the response by various governmental agencies at national and state level was swift, with deployments of search and rescue teams, food distributions, temporary shelter, health and cash support.

However, since 3 September, intense rains in Jammu and Kashmir caused a dramatic worsening of the situation and heavy flooding, the state’s worst in over a hundred years. Ten districts are seriously affected; more than 150 people have died so far, and a number of districts are not easily accessible due to waterlogging. In the city of Srinagar (capital of Jammu and Kashmir in summer 1located in the Kashmir valley), major parts of the city are still submerged ten days after the flooding started. In Jammu, the water has slowly receded, however landslides triggered by heavy rainfall have damaged roads, dozens of bridges, buildings and crops.

The landslides have also caused serious damage to infrastructure and agricultural land. Two main hospitals in Srinagar and hundreds of villages are inundated, and water supply, crops and orchards are damaged.

Communications is a huge challenge as the communications network has been severely compromised in Srinagar and limited in other areas.

The rescue operation has been managed by the Indian Armed Forces, which maintains heavy presence in Jammu and Kashmir. In addition, central and state governments of India have deployed its National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Ten days into the worst flooding in Jammu and Kashmir in a century, major parts of Srinagar and southern Kashmir valley are still under water. According to the media reports, over 200,000 people from different parts of Jammu and Kashmir have been rescued by the army and NDRF. However, over 100,000 people are still marooned in their houses, with no access to food or clean water. Due to damaged infrastructure, the Indian Armed Forces is using helicopters and boats to reach the affected.
In Jammu, flood water has mainly receded, however structural damages are significant and the need for support in recovery efforts is evident.

In addition to logistical difficulties posed by broken roads and bridges, landslides, as well as waterlogging of the city of Srinagar and rural communities in the south of the valley, the security situation remains a major challenge in determining the exact extent of damages and needs, as there is a growing frustration of the local population with the slow pace of response.

The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is still in emergency phase and is evolving. Based on the information obtained at this stage, the most critical needs in Jammu and Kashmir include the following:

  • Safe drinking water

  • Emergency shelter

  • Non-food relief items (NFI)

  • Sanitation

  • Food

  • Medicine