THE worst flooding in Kashmir for more than a century has left
more than 100,000 people marooned, amid fears that cholera may
strike. The death toll in the region is expected to exceed 500.
The floods began two weeks ago after heavy monsoon rains and
landslides. Christian Aid estimates that more than 8.5 million
people have been affected in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and
Nepal. Two million have been forced to leave their homes.
The worst-affected areas are the two regions separated by the
Control Line in Kashmir (a region disputed by India and Pakistan
since the partition of 1947). On the Indian side, 100,000 people
were still marooned on Monday. The city of Srinagar, home to a
million people, was submerged after the river Jhelum broke its
In Pakistan, 1.8 million people have been forced to flee their
homes. Christian Aid reports that breaches have been deliberately
made in the embankments of the Chenab river "to protect larger
towns and cities, leading to flooding in villages further down
On Friday, Belinda Bennet, head of South Asia at Christian Aid,
whose partners are working across the region to provide relief,
said: "The situation will undoubtedly deteriorate as rains continue
and more rivers flood. It is currently harvest-time in the region,
but crops ready for reaping have simply been destroyed. The coming
winter will create an even more desperate need for shelter, as
temperatures can drop below zero in some areas.
"Many of the people affected have already borne the brunt of
previous disasters, such as the Kashmir earthquake in 2005, South
Asia floods of 2007, and the Pakistan floods of 2010."
Last week, the head of the climate-change team at the Centre for
Science and Environment, Chandra Bhuhsan, said that the floods were
"a grim reminder that climate change is now hitting India