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Torrential rainfall and flooding from September 2-6, 2014 submerged >350 villages in Jammu and Kashmir state. We conducted rapid needs assessment in capital Srinagar from 27 September to 1 October to assess population health and safety needs.
Based on Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) methodology, we selected 7 households each from 30 census blocks using 2-stage cluster sampling. We collected information on demographics, needs, and illnesses using structured questionnaire.
Of the 210 households surveyed, an estimated 57% (CI: 41%-73%) reported significant damage, 50% (CI: 36%-63%) were evacuated, and 16% (CI: 10%-22%) reported injuries. Households lacked electricity (22%; CI: 8.8%-36%), tap water (13%; CI: 5%-21%), working toilets (11%; CI: 4%-19%), and adequate food supply (14%; CI: 8%-20%). Moreover, 55% (CI: 45%-64%) of households reported cough, cold, fever, rashes, or diarrhea; 68% (CI: 59%-77%) experienced agitation, anxiety, depression, or nightmares since the flooding. Of the households with a member on medicines for non-communicable diseases, 40% did not have a week’s supply. Restoring basic essentials (30%; CI: 22%-37%) and repairing houses (30%; CI: 19%-40%) were the most urgent needs expressed.
Floods damaged >1/2 of households in Srinagar, disrupting basic essentials, and causing mental trauma. These findings helped authorities prioritize assistance with psychological symptoms and availability of prescription medicines. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:133–137)
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