HiFlo-DAT: Indian Himalayan Flood Database, for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Kullu District

Johnson, R.M, Edwards, E and Jeffers, J.M (2019) HiFlo-DAT: Indian Himalayan Flood Database, for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Kullu District. In: PAGES' Floods Working Group Workshop - Floods in a Warmer World: Insights from Paleohydrology, 11 - 13 November 2019, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.


‘HiFlo-DAT’ is an ongoing bi-lateral (UK and India) research project funded 2018-2020 by the UGC-UKIERI (University Grants Commission & UK India Education and Research Initiative), focusing on historical floods in the Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, Indian Himalaya. The project team, comprising academic and state/district disaster management authorities, are together developing a new historical flood hazard database as a foundation for improved disaster risk management functions in the region. This is necessary as current management relies on incomplete knowledge of past flood event occurrence, bringing elevated exposure/ risk to development. The HiFlo-DAT database provides a step-change, drawing on extensive mining of archive materials held in private and public collections in India, UK and USA. These materials include newspapers, government reports/ registers, diaries, books, academic articles etc. Most extensive are English language Indian regional newspapers, of which we have amassed overlapping holdings over 184 years (1835 to present), totalling c. 150,000 pages. Our acquisition includes coverage of annual periods where publications are digitally searchable (e.g. The Tribune, The Times of India, The Indian Express). In contrast, where archives remain in an analogue microfilm format (e.g. The Civil and Military Gazette, The Friend of India) we restricted data searches to monsoon season months (i.e. July to September) given this is the typical window for floods in the Western Himalaya. The HiFlo-DAT database architecture takes account of best practice, having systematically reviewed global (most commonly European) flood database research in the last c. 30 years, in regard to database structure, data entry/verification protocols, analytical foci and societal impact. HiFlo-DAT has 103 possible entry categories for each event record, which are aggregated into 11 principal groups (i.e. database management, citation information, timing/ duration, location, causation and hydro-meteorological magnitude, channel/ catchment geomorphological impacts, damage/ destruction/ costs, human casualties, pre-event actions, event response, post-event actions). The bi-lateral review of source materials and population of the database are governed by an agreed set of protocols. Initial analyses are focussing on: (1) event spatial/ temporal/ impact signatures; (2) the relationship between flood occurrence and rainfall conditions. The latter makes use of a unique long-term daily rainfall series for Naggar Farm, being compiled from British government records (1891-1950) and current IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute) data (1962 to present). HiFlo-DAT is designed with capacity for future updating, and will be open access via the BathSPAdata repository and HPSDMA [Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority] website.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
UN SDGs: Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Goal 15: Life on Land
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Divisions: School of Sciences
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2022 15:07
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 15:07
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/15043
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