Publication Details

A clear and present danger: Ladakh's increasing vulnerability to flash floods and debris flows

This preliminary investigation of the recent spate of deadly flash floods and debris flows in Ladakh (India) over the last decade identifies uncontrolled development in hazardous locations as an important factor contributing to loss of life and property damage in this high mountain desert. The sediments exposed in the channel banks and on the alluvial fans of several mountain streams in the area indicate a long history of flash floods and debris flows resulting from intense storms, which appear to have increased in frequency within the last decade. The signposts of these recurrent hazards are being ignored as a growing economy, which is boosted by a well-established tourism industry, is now driving development onto lands that are susceptible to floods and debris flow hazards. In this science briefing we argue that the increasing vulnerability in Ladakh should be addressed with sound disaster governance strategies that are proactive, rather than reactionary.

Author Last NamesZiegler, Cantarero, Wasson, Srivastava, Spalzin, Chow, Gillen
Journal NameHydrological Processes
Year of Publication2016
KeywordsLadakh, flash floods, debris flow, hazard

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