Saima Akbar

The Kashmir Valley is a scenic region located in north western India, known for its natural beauty and cultural significance. Despite its attractive features, the valley is situated in a multi hazard prone region and is vulnerable to multiple disasters like landslides, floods, earthquakes, cloud burst snow avalanches, resulting in widespread infrastructural damage and loss of life. In this paper, we present landslide hazard assessment of the Kashmir Valley to understand the potential risk posed to the region. Landslide hazard assessment is an important step towards landslide hazard and risk management. There are several methods of Landslide Hazard Zonation (LHZ) viz. heuristic, semi quantitative, quantitative, probabilistic and multi-criteria-decision-making process. However, no one method is accepted universally for effective assessment of landslide hazards. In recent years, several attempts have been made to apply different methods of LHZ and to compare results in order to find the best suited model. The advanced multivariate techniques are proved to be effective in spatial prediction of landslides with high degree of accuracy. Physical process based models also perform well in LHZ mapping even in the areas with poor database. Multi-criteria decision making approach also play significant role in determining relative importance of landslide causative factors in slope instability process. Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) are powerful tools to assess landslide hazards and are being used extensively in landslide researches since last decade. Aerial photographs and high resolution satellite data are useful in detection, mapping and monitoring landslide processes. GIS based LHZ models helps not only to map and monitor landslides but also to predict future slope failures. The advancements in Geo-spatial technologies have opened the doors for detailed and accurate assessment of landslide hazards. The study provides a comprehensive analysis of the geophysical setting of the valley, historical landslide activity, and the current landslide hazard assessment. The paper also highlights the measures being taken to reduce the impact of landslides in the valley of Kashmir, with a focus on the role of the government, local communities, and NGOs in disaster risk reduction.

Keywords: Landslides, assessment, hazard, disaster, Kashmir, Early Warning

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