ONCE-IN-A-CENTURY

These 10 numbers tell the story of the catastrophic floods in Jammu and Kashmir

Quartz india
Quartz india

Jammu and Kashmir hasn’t seen floods like this one in decades. Since flooding began last week, hundreds have died, hundreds of thousands are stranded and the governments—both state and centre—are struggling with the relief and rescue effort.

The state’s embattled chief minister Omar Abdullah declared the floods to be the worst in over 100 years, but said his administration was doing everything it could. His people, though, aren’t convinced.

Here are the 10 numbers that try to capture the scale of tragedy that is still unfolding.

400 millimeters, or 15.75 inches, in one day. That’s how much it reportedly rained in a district that straddles the border between India and Pakistan. Between June and September this year, Jammu and Kashmir received a total of 558 millimeters of rainfall, about 80.6 millimeter above normal. As the floods hit, water levels rose to as high as 15 feet drowning entire houses while leaving people stranded on rooftops. And there may be more rain coming later this week.

215 dead. That’s the latest death toll coming out of Jammu and Kashmir. These numbers could very well rise as the waters slowly recede, revealing the full extent of the flood’s damage. A similar number of people have died in neighboring Pakistan, where heavy rains and swollen rivers have also wreaked havoc.

2,600 villages in the state have been affected by the floods. The majority of these, some 1,600 are in Kashmir and another 1,000 in Jammu, of which 450 were completely submerged. The worst hit areas include the state’s capital city of Srinagar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Poonch and Shopain among others.

400,000 people are estimated to be marooned in Srinagar alone, even as rescue operations continue. More are likely to be trapped in other areas of the mountainous state, which is finally seeing flood waters slowly recede. Over 96,000 people have been rescued by the armed forces in the last few days.

300,000 military personnel, comprising of soldiers and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), are reported to be involved in a massive rescue and relief exercise. Jammu and Kashmir is one of most heavily militarized regions in the subcontinent, with the constant presence of an estimated 700,000 Indian security forces.

84 transport aircraft and helicopters of Indian Air Force and Army are currently operating in Jammu and Kashmir. Since the floods hit, they’ve flown 930 sorties and dropped 1237 tonnes of relief material. Alongside, there are 372 Army and NDRF boats that are currently in operation.

2,24,000 litres of water, 2.6 tonne of biscuit, 7 tonne baby food and 31,500 food packets have been airdropped into the region. 8,200 blankets and 650 tents have also been provided. And 80 medical teams of the Armed Forces Medical Services have treated more than 21,500 patients.

Rs 2100 crore ($345 million) has been allocated by India’s central government to help Jammu and Kashmir deal with the ongoing crisis.The Prime Minister’s relief fund will also give Rs 200,000 ($3,278) to the next kin of those who died in the floods.

10,900 tweets have been punched out in the last seven days using the hashtag #jkfloodrelief. An eponymous Twitter handle @JKFloodRelief and a website have been setup to help coordinate rescue and relief efforts. Twitter also started an automated feed with the #KashmirFloods on September 10 curating tweets that call for help. Google Person Finder‘—its missing person database—has quickly grown to 5800 entries, as of Thursday afternoon.

One day’s salary is being donated by the Prime Minister’s office in solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

home our picks popular latest obsessions search