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Jammu and Kashmir: Ladakh Floods: A Timeline of Disaster by PREKSHA SHARMA January 12,2018   |  Source: The Wire

In the recent past, Ladakh’s arid, Moon-like landscape has borne many scars left behind by ferocious flooding. A statistical analysis of climate over Leh shows that, overall, the arid region has been receiving more rainfall than it used to. The Ladakh region is a cold desert in the Trans-Himalayas; on average, the daily precipitation ranges from 0.5 to 1.5 mm/day, which leaves the region cold and arid. The consequences of shifting precipitation trends are exacerbated by increasingly frequent cloudbursts, flash floods, landslides and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs).

The region’s topography is made up of granites and loose sediments that yield easily under heavy rainfall, setting off mudslides and sand flows. According to the deputy commissioner’s office, the large scale destruction and loss of lives during the 2010 floods were caused by the rapidly moving volumes of water charged with sand, mud, building debris, waste, boulders, trees and other objects swept up by the flow.

A recurring disaster

In Ladakh, the revenue department records flooding events and evaluates them on the basis of losses incurred, of property and life. This explains the extraordinary media coverage of the 2010 floods. It also explains why catastrophic tragedies, like the floods of 2006

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