Sunday, July 31, 2005
The book, Tsunami, published by the National Institute of Science Communication And Information Resources (NISCAIR), reinforces what many have always maintained: animal behaviour forewarn of an impending natural disaster, like Tsunami.
Not only that, the trauma caused by the Tsunami impact can be easily relieved through traditional Indian systems of medicine and therapy like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Yoga, meditation and naturopathy.
“A close look at animal behaviour during the recent Tsunami event (December 26, 2004) is also a revelation in terms of early warning, signs of danger. Surprisingly, while the giant waves killed over 30,000 people, they seemingly missed wild beasts. Wildlife officials in Sri Lanka reported that no elephants died. There was not even a dead hare or rabbit.
There were no reports of animal carcasses,” says the book.
Both wild and domestic animals fled to safety. Along the Cuddalore coast in India, where thousands of people perished, buffaloes, goats and dogs were safe. Flamingos that breed this time of the year (December) at Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary also flew to higher grounds beforehand.
The book cites some strange animal behaviour before the Tsunami hit the coast. Elephants trumpeted and ran towards higher grounds, dogs refused to go outdoors, zoo animals rushed into their shelters and bats frantically flew away. “Perhaps, this instinct and attention to nature’s warning signals is what saved the indigenous people in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands from the wrath of the Tsunami as they fled to safety at the first indications,” the book says.
The book documents several ways how the coastal people were forewarned in ancient times. These includes changes in animal behaviour and in some cases, sudden receeding of sea water near the coast. Oceanic earthquake, at times, causes landslides in the seabed which results in a sudden recession of water along the coast. Fishes, marine creatures and reefs become visible.
But this sudden recession of water is followed by a lush of waves.
The book details how this knowledge of nature’s warning system was lost to the modern man causing thousands of deaths. “The dramatic increase in coastal population throughout the world has put more people at risk today. Of the roughly 4 billion people who live in Asia, 7% live near the coasts,” the book records.
There are other natural warnings too. Tremours may be felt along the coast, often large Tsunamis are accompanied by a roaring sound like that of a train or an aircraft. In some cases, oceanic earthquake causes landslides in the seabed which results in a sudden recession of water along the coast. Fishes, marine creatures and reefs become visible. But this sudden recession of water may be followed by a lush of waves.
The book also records how in the post-Tsunami period some victims were relieved of the trauma through the traditional medicine and therapy, including yoga and meditation. These therapeutic measures are for physical, mental, social and spiritual well being in a most comprehensive way and presents a close similarity to the concept of health as propounded by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Troops were deployed after the sudden rains -- measuring up to 94.4 centimeters (37.1 inches) in one day in some areas of Mumbai -- stranded tens of thousands of people.
India's previous heaviest rainfall, recorded at Cherrapunji in the Meghalaya state, one of the rainiest places on Earth, was 83.82 centimeters (33 inches) on July 12, 1910, Sharma said.
"Most places in India don't receive this kind of rainfall in a year. This is the highest-ever recorded in India's history. We have to compare it with world records to find out if this was the highest in the world," RV Sharma, director of the meteorological department, told The Associated Press.
The All India Radio reported about 150,000 people were stranded in railway stations across Mumbai, India's main financial center.
Early Wednesday, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, the state's top elected official, called the army, navy and home guards to help with the relief effort.
"Inflatable rafts will be used to reach stranded people. Please try to stay where you are and don't leave your homes," he said.
Tens of thousands of people were stranded for hours on roads in Bombay, and its airport -- one of the busiest in the country -- was shut Tuesday evening. All incoming flights were diverted to New Delhi and other airports.
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Tsunami has given literacy a boost in the fishing community says The Christian Science Monitor in its latest report.
"The general infrastructure of our school has improved after the tsunami.....Teachers were told to make children spend their emotional energy on activities that would divert their thoughts from the tsunami......these school and afterschool programs, tsunami-affected children are kept wholesomely occupied...."
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Sunday, July 24, 2005
As a flexible and a Welcome move few months ago Traffic police allocated more Stops especially for Shareautos.They have carefully selected places so that the stops don't hinder the traffic.
But having got such a concession the Shareauto operators still fail to follow the rule.Traffic police must take stren action against the violators.
Particularly they broken apart the well laid cement road in the Car street and Sanathi street junction.This is how irresponsible coporates behave in every aspect.
The project is part of the infrastructure assistance to the tsunami-hit by the Ryan Foundation for National Socio- Economic Development, a press release said.Two Mahindra pick-up vans were also handed over to the fishermen of Cuddalore village.
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Village: Singarathuppu, Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India Singarathoppu is a cluster of three villages located just across the Cuddalore port, with a population of 1,800 families affected by tsunami. Around 200 families live here within 200 meters from the high-tide line. Now they have to vacate and move beyond 200 meters, as per a government rehabilitation directive. "There is a primary health centre in the village, but for pregnancy.... full stoty>>
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Some years back there was a no stop board but it is removed it seems.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Chennai, July 18 :
Angel International, a Japan based NGO dedicated 10 mechanized fishing boats to the tsunami-affected fishermen of Karrikattukupam village, yesterday.
A seven member Japanese team visited the villagers to hand over ten boats on a co-operative basis benefitting forty families of the area. The boats were manufactured in a workshop near Cuddalore and has board engines imported from Italy. The decision was taken after a team of volunteers from Japan visited the coastal villages in December, days after the terror waves, said a press release.Recently the NGO had constructed a 35-bedded old age home for the poor in Visakhapatinam and is planning to construct toilets in rural schools in and around Visakhapatnam.
Monday, July 18, 2005
The few reasons which mainly contribute to the havoc situation is
*heaps of stones along the road which are to be used for the construction purpose itself
*heaps of sand on either side
*unusable pedastrian footpath
Authorities must immediately look into some immediate solution.
Fish exports from Cuddalore declines dramatically as chemical influx from industries into the environment increase.
By VK Shashikumar
Murthy, a fisherman from Sonanchawdi village in Cuddalore despairs over the chemical influx in the Uppanar River. “Our fishing activities have been grievously affected and the children in our community show signs of chemical poisoning. They complain of breathing disorders and nausea. The children are not growing properly and there are many who have stunted growth. It seems there is something wrong with their bones. A 14-year-old girl looks like she is 7 or 8. Many of our community members also complain of infertility.”
But the most damaging impact has been on the fishing trade. “Even Germany is not buying our prawns any more because of the chemical contamination. The prawns that we catch can find no market and is thrown away. There’s no bottom life in the riverbed any more, no algae, nothing for the fish to feed on. Earlier when we caught the fish they would be alive for 5 minutes, now they don’t even survive for 30 seconds,” says Murthy.
The fishermen say that during the rainy season the water level rises and washes away the contamination in the water and the silt in the river doesn’t have many contaminants enabling survival of bottom life on the riverbed. At this time the prawn catch is good. Pollution has made fishing dependent on the rainy season.
Sukumar, a fisherman from Thaikalthunithorai village says that people have generally stopped eating fish in this region because there seems to be direct relation between consumption of toxic contaminants in the fish and health problems like headaches and blisters on the body. “We have a dug a 300 feet bore well to draw out drinking water. But this water can’t be stored beyond a day because it begins to smell and we have also noticed that an oily film on the surface of stored water.
Vasanta from Eechankaadu village bemoaned the cancer of pollution that has destroyed the Uppanar River. “The chemical in the water corrodes kitchen utensils,” she said. “The Uppanar was beautiful earlier. The children would go there, so would the cattle. Now it’s filled with sludge. If you step in it you will instantly develop skin rashes.”
Twenty years ago when SIPCOT industrial estate was set up in Cuddalore it was done without taking environmental degradation into account. Like most project planning in India planners of industrial estates ignored the heavy price that communities and the eventually the country pays when the sustainability of the ecology is not factored as the key element of any industrial development plan. “First they started building big companies. For the first few years we couldn’t tell the difference but soon we realised that our lives would be changed forever by the pollution emanating from the industries,” said Vasanta.
According to Nityanand Jayaram, a writer and environment activist who took an active part in training the villagers to monitor analyse and document environment pollution, “chemical odours are an indicator of gross pollution and that the release of toxic gases from industries represents a case of hazardous waste dumping into the atmosphere. Currently, no regulatory agency requires or monitors the air for toxic gases such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sulphur compounds. Fed up with the degrading quality of their lives the villagers in Cuddalore helped by Jayaram and other activists resolved to make their habitats safe for future generations. The villagers in Cuddalore now go on regular pollution patrol exercises. They collect air samples and analyse them for pollutants. This grassroots movement has even attracted the attention of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee.
SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors are the first to have conducted a study on toxic gases in ambient air in India. The findings of the report confirm that residents in SIPCOT have been exposed to toxic gases for at least 20 years. The report’s findings corroborate the persistent complaints by residents about pollution-related health effects and bear particular relevance to the health of women, children and the elderly who spend all their time within the polluted confines of the SIPCOT villages.
In fact, the SCMC has referred to the ‘Gas Trouble’ generated by the villagers of Cuddalore. The Committee also said that such studies ought to be carried out by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). “The Board ought to seriously respect the ‘data’ provided in the complaints by human beings and the living sensors of human ears, throats and skin to industrial pollution,” stated SCMC.
The TNPCB is yet to come out with authentic information regarding the nature and levels of toxic gases in the ambient air in the residential areas in and around SIPCOT. The ‘Gas Trouble’ report has indicated presence of 22 toxic chemicals that are harmful to eyes, respiratory system, central nervous system, skin, liver, heart, kidney etc. Some of these chemicals are even known to cause cancer. Air quality measurements conducted by village monitors at different locations have reportedly shown concentration of toxic gaseous compounds far in excess of standards permissible under the United States Environment Protection Agency (USEPA). For many of these compounds there is no Indian standard as yet.
The SCMC has set an ultimatum to the TNPCB that “If the air pollution around Cuddalore is not reversed within three months, from the date of this Report, that is, by December 31, 2004, the entire Cuddalore industrial estate shall go for closure and units will be allowed to reopen only if they meet the currently available standards (applicable in this case) laid down under the USEPA for volatile organic compounds or CPCB (central pollution control board) standards if made available during this period.” However, the three-month deadline has gone by and in Cuddalore its business as usual.
This article is published under the fellowship programme of the National Foundation for India
copyright © 2004 tehelka.com
Friday, July 01, 2005
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