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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Every monsoon means flood of bad news

Every monsoon means flood of bad news

In the great plains of India, there is nothing romantic about the monsoon. People's fate depends on the monsoon's mood swings. If it fails to keep its date with the country, there is drought. If it's over generous, the floods cause death and destruction. Even when it's "normal", some river somewhere exceeds the danger mark and kills a few hundred people. After the skies clear and the water recedes, armies of mosquitoes and bugs launch attacks. Millions fall prey with chills, cramps, fever. In this part of the world, drought, deluge and death are as much an annual phenomenon as the monsoon.
    Bangladesh may be famous for its notorious floods, but India is not far behind. Every year, the monsoon floods leave a trail of destruction in India. Roughly 20% of deaths caused by flooding worldwide occur here; some 30 million people are evacuated every year. Every year witnesses an "un
precedented flood". Every other year the "worst flood in living memory" leaves scores dead. Is India becoming ever more vulnerable to monsoon fury?
    No, say Vinod K Sharma and A D Kaushik of the National Centre for Disaster Management in a recent paper on floods in India. They argue that states did not appear quite as vulnerable as before because there was less developmental activity and population pressure. "However, in the present time, unabated population and high rate of developmental activities forced on the occupation of flood plains has made the society highly vulnerable to flood losses," they wrote.
    In 2009, the monsoon was weak and deficient but it caused floods, deaths and displacement in Orissa, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and the north-eastern states. In 2008, the monsoon was normal, but Bihar faced the worst flood crisis ever as the Kosi breached its embankment, changed course and deluged several districts, leaving hundreds dead and three million homeless.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5 Seconds Between Life & Death.....

...Join Keralites, Have fun & be Informed.
Like you, this man too, had a dream. 
Like you, he too pushed his way into the crowded train 
Like you, he too wanted to get going before he got delayed
Unlike you, he slipped and fell in the gap between the train and the platform at Kandivli
And eight bogies went over him 
Find out what happened to this man on

...Join Keralites, Have fun & be Informed.
The man obviously has a guardian angel and supportive bystanders who told him exactly what he shouldn't do — move. And so, the man lay absolutely still as eight bogies of the train passed over him — centimeters from his head. Within seconds the 12-coach train passed and the man clambered out, unaided, unhurt, but too shocked to speak to us after his near-death experience 
Untidy safety habits
Can trip you up.

This Guy was Lucky,

Dont cross Railway Tracks ever & make a mess of ur Valuable Life

Cyclone Laila approaches Andhra, 5,000 people evacuated

Even as a furious tropical cyclonic storm 'Laila' in the Bay of Bengal was gusting forward, the Andhra Pradesh coast has started experiencing gale winds and heavy rains.

The Cyclone Warning Centre in Visakhapatanam has said the cyclonic storm lay centered over southwest Bay of Bengal, 480 km south east of Visakhapatanam, and was likely to cross the coast between Machlipatanam and Kakinada on Thursday morning.

Authorities said the cyclone was moving in the west-northwest direction at a speed of 20 km per hour. The wind speed has been up to 130 km per hour near the eye of the storm.

Laila has been billed as the worst tropical cyclone in 14 years. A cyclone in 1996 had battered the East and West Godavari districts.

The Union home ministry has issued alerts for Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in view of the impending cyclone.

The centre has also ordered that four companies of the National Disaster Response Force be moved to vulnerable areas of coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Cautionary signal No 7 was hoisted at the ports of Visakhapatanam, Kakinada, Machlipatanam, Vodarevu and Nizampatanam indicating the highest level of threat from the storm.

Heavy rains along with gale winds up to a speed of 65 to 75 km per hour have already started lashing Visakhapatanam, East and West Godavari and Krishna districts.

The administration has begun evacuating people from low-lying areas along the coast. Officials said at least 5,000 people had been evacuated from Srikakulam, Vizianagaram,Visakhapatanam, East and West Godavari districts so far.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah has directed officials of the nine coastal districts to take precautionary measures to prevent loss of life, and also keep helicopters ready for rescue operations.

The Indian Meteorological Department said the gale wind speed was likely to reach 139 km per hour by Wednesday night and a maximum speed of 167 km per hour as the st.

The IMD has forecast widespread rains with heavy to very heavy rainfall for the region in 24 hours.

The port city of Visakhapatanam has been witnessing rains since Tuesday night and normal life has been disrupted.

The Indian Navy has been put on alert and the army will be sought if necessary. The Andhra cabinet has kept aside six helicopters for rescue and relief operations.

The weather bureau has warned that sea waves as high as 2.5 meters would lash the coast during the storm. The cyclone has a sustained wind of 102 km per hour presently and waves along Andhra's caosts have been as high as 4.6 metres.

Oil refineries have suspended drilling work in the Krishna-Godavari basin off the coast in East Godavari ditrict.

The Bay of Bengal region has the biggest offshore natural gas field in the country.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

No abnormal high tides this year, but BMC is taking no chances

Mumbaikars can rest assured the city will not witness abnormally high tides this monsoon, like those measuring over 5 metres which occurred last year. For, the weatherman's forecast says that the city will have a total of 26 days when high tides will measure between 4.5m and 4.95m. 

    This spells good news for the BMC. Nevertheless, the civic body plans to take all precautions, and even install CCTVs at low lying areas such as Milan Subway, Dadar TT and along Linking Road. 
    "We will take all precautions even though the tide is not expected to rise over five metres. This is because in case there happens to be unusually heavy rain, then even a high tide of 4.5 metres can cause concern," said an officer of the Disaster Management Cell. 
    As per available data, this year, the highest tide will be of 4.95 metres on August 12 at 13.44 pm.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Iron box and almirah kept on top of the bus came in contact with an overhead wire near Surajpur village.

MP bus touches live wire, 28 of marriage party electrocuted

Mandla: Twenty-eight members of a marriage party, most of them women, were electrocuted when the bus they were travelling in touched a high-voltage wire and caught fire in MP's Mandla district. The incident occurred when an iron box and almirah kept on top of the bus came in contact with an overhead wire near Surajpur village. 
    The deceased, all tribals, comprised 23 women, two men and three boys. There were 36 people on the bus. The six injured are undergoing treatment at the district hospital. The marriage party was returning from Sukaria to Doni village. A criminal case has been registered against the bus owner, driver and conductor. The bus driver and conductor fled after the bus came in contact with the wire. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced Rs 1 lakh for the families of the deceased and free treatment to the injured. TNN

Corpses heaped in front of the bus in MP's Mandla on Friday

Monday, May 3, 2010

Maximum chaos as city hits the streets

Mumbai: With no one to drive the trains, Mumbai on Monday hit the roads. And the results was pretty much the same as on 26/7. That's not all. Officials fear that if the strike doesn't end on Tuesday and all of Mumbai's 60-70 lakh vehicles come out on the streets, the city will stop. 

    Monday was sheer mayhem as clogged arterial roads, packed buses and playing-hard-to-get cabbies and autorickshaws added to the chaos caused by the suburban motormen's strike. Several commuters either preferred to work from their homes while a few gave up their journey midway to return home. 
    Traffic policemen were actually encouraging taxis and autos to carry more people. "We won't fine people if they carry more passengers than allowed till trains are normal," said DCP traffic Nandkumar Chougule. Roads in Thane and Navi Mumbai also felt the aftershocks of the traffic chaos. Desperation even drove several commuters, coming from Navi Mumbai towards Mumbai, to force their way into cars and other vehicles. Those unable to do so 
were trying to find places to stay the night in Navi Mumbai. 
    In Mumbai too, commuters tried taking lifts in private cars while others decided to walk home several kilometres. Most shops shut early to allow their staff to return home. 
    Motormen started withdrawing their services slowly towards the afternoon. It started building up when at around 3.30 pm office-goers gathered at bus stops and stations after government and other offices closed down. 
    Commuters Indrani Joshi and Praniti Acharya virtually took twoand-a-half hours to reach CST from 
Kurla as rickshaws and taxis refused to take them to the station and their offices. The city witnessed probably the largest number of private cars and buses on sea link, according to MSRDC sources, with up to 10 to 15% hike in number of vehicles. 
    Some of the worst hit areas in
cluded Dr Ambedkar road, P DMello road, N M Joshi road, Eastern Express highway, Sion-Dharavi road, LBS Road, Pedder road, Marine Drive, Haji Ali, Dr Annie Besant road, Worli, Mahim Causeway, Tulsi Pipe road, Western Express highway, S V Road, Linking road, Kalina. 
    Transport minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said 2000 additional private buses will be deployed. The MSRTC has deployed 440 additional buses in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan, Vasai, Virar and Mira Road. BEST ran 367 extra buses from various locations in the city. 

'Early to work, return early' 
The state government plans to let employees who report early on Tuesday, to leave offices early if the motormen's strike that began on Monday stretches into the second consecutive day. Addressing the media in Mantralaya on Monday, home minister R R Patil stated that chief minister Ashok Chavan and NCP chief Sharad Pawar will meet Prime minister Mannmohan Singh and urge him to intervene to avoid inconvenience to lakhs of commuters. "The demands of the motormen will be tabled before the Union government to end the strike at earliest possible," Patil added. He added if the strike continues, the employees reporting early to offices can leave early. Meanwhile on the first day of the strike the state government appealed to all private sector companies to allow their employees to leave by 3 pm, public sector offices 
and banks to shut operation by 4 pm and government offices to close by 5 pm. -Sanjeev Shivadekar | TNN

SHATTERED: Broken windows at Churchgate station

NOWHERE TO GO: Crowds waiting at Churchgate station hoping for trains to move

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