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|Posted on October 26, 2013 at 12:27 PM||comments ()|
It seems a frequent occurrence, the coming of typhoons and cyclones that seem to hit the Eastern board of India every year, often hitting Odisha the hardest, together with Andhra Pradesh as well as Bengal.
This October, cyclone Phailin landed at Gopalpur in Odisha with a core speed of 200 Kilometres per hour, reducing to matchsticks the flimsy dwellings in the low-lying areas, flooding vast majority of farmland and dwellings. Fallen trees and power lines added to the problems in travelling. Thanfully early warming of the oncoming SuperCyclone enabled the local municipal authorities put into action evacuation plans, together with assistance from the Army and Navy, which were on standby, and so only a tiny number of people lost their lives this time, compared to the 10,000 last time.
Nearly a million people had been evacuated, with a timely and well-ordinated effort by the authorities. Social media must have helped, emphasising the dangers of flooding and the ferocity of the winds, and, most important, how much time they had to get out of harm's way. Villagers became convinced of the seriousness and left for the safety of higher areas and strong public dwellings, travelling at the last minute by buses laid on by the local councils. Thankfully, so many people saved their lives by not ignoring the messages.
About 100,000 people were similarly affected in Andhra Pradesh also.
Odisha Chief Minister has requested the government in Delhi to provide approximately a billion pounds over and above the 572 million pounds which would be available in the state disaster response fund, such has been the devastation left by Cyclone Phailin.
The government and local authorities are stretched trying to provide food, shelter and rehabilitation for the million plus people affected in the last fortnight.
As if that was not bad enough, another cyclone has hit the same region today, killing 29 and leaving another 85,000 marooned. The government and the local communities have a huge task of rebuilding and rehabilitating nearly 1.3 million people in Eastern states, some of the poorest and least developed in India. It would be a great blessing for the people if this encourages the construction of alternative housing in such areas.
In the meantime, again I pray for the safety and well-being of the people of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and Bengal.
Respectfully Invoking our Saviour's prayer I intone :"Winds, be thee still".
May God's love and care be with the people there.
(written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek priest at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Ilford)
Good news heard today, 9th November 2013.
Indian Prime Minister has announced allocation of funds of 1,000 Crores each for Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. (approx. 1 Billion Pounds each).
|Posted on July 22, 2013 at 5:30 PM||comments ()|
Thank you for visiting my blog and website, visitors from India with this question. It will be a question of debate as to whether such an occurrence could have been tamed or averted, through metaphysical means or somehow or perhaps simply by not having removed the temple where the Shakti was said to have been established for many hundreds of years. The Shakti of Kalimata.
There is a strong belief among those who worship that Shakti of Kalkamata that Her temple should not have been moved. There were learned people who had also concurred with that view. Yet somehow the ultra-scientific minds are inclined to push the boundaries. What has gone cannot be undone, so much damage occurred, so many lives were lost, and so many many more people are left homeless and with meagre means in the aftermath of this calamity.
All that I would add to this debate is this : Yes, we must always respectfully observe religious inclinations of our culture, and not proceed with something if we are forewarned of the consequences. This is not superstition, but paying homage and heed to the One who has made it all.
A time will come when India will develop much further, and tap into all the possibilities of geothermal, hydroelectric and nuclear power. Certainly a great need is there, and all tasks will be made easier and large-scale infrastructure feasible with added power capacity, that cannot be denied. But thorough consultations should be made, and consideration given to any concerns. It would be better to err on the side of caution than to proceed and then realise the disasterous effects.
The government faces this extra challenge of rehousing all these sad homeless people, and providing means of sustainance. This is the sort of calamity that provides a challenge for any government, but it seems the able UPA under Dr Manmohan Singh-ji is doing all it can to help people survive and relocate.
The 10,000 troops and volunteers deployed in the rescue effort did a heroic job and deserve the nation's thanks.
I pray for the well-being of the survivors of the tsunami, and send them my brotherly love.
|Posted on July 2, 2013 at 6:15 AM||comments ()|
The news of the forest fires in Arizona has been terrible, with deaths of 19 of the 20 elite firefighting force there. Such are the tragedies which such brave men give their lives to, in the service of their communities, as part of their job.
The rising temperatures in various regions of the world, including the mid and west coast of USA, points to the urgent need for something to be done in thinning forests by punctually felling trees in a systematic fashion so that there is least contact between trees and would help prevent forest fires from catching on and spreading further.
If there were five trees in a row, and five rows of trees, then a suggestion would be to take out the first, third and fifth tree of the first row, and 2nd and 4th of the second row; then first, third and fifth of third row; and so on. Draw a little diagram and see. Such felling would not cause deforestation, and would in fact add to the fertility of that land, as fewer trees drink the water. It would change the ecological system for the better, with more moisture in the air, improving humidity, and lessening the tinder-box stage which has caused such devastation in Arizona.
Every year, at around this time of the year, forest fires are heard of in Greece, Australia, west coast U.S. and various places, with loss of houses and lives.
My hope remains that the authorities in all such areas would make a concerted effort to thin the forests, and the central governments must allocate budgets and help in this cause. Nationally and internationally, such initiatives and their implementation can only benefit all world communities. They would make a much needed contribution to reducing global warming as well.
I close this with a prayer - May the souls of the brave Arizona firefighters rest in peace in Heaven.
(written by Duru-darshan)
|Posted on June 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM||comments ()|
In the aftermath of the Himalayan tsunami, which sent a huge avalanche of water from the mountains into the Kedarnath valley in Uttarakhand, causing much devastation of villages and about 500 deaths so far recorded, some opinions are being expressed as to the likely trigger of this tsunami.
It is a fact that a lot of likely or proposed hydro-electric projects are being studied at the feasibility stage in India, most of them having the location along the many tributaries of the river Ganges, or Ganga, as the Hindus call her after our Goddess.
An opinion put forward on Aastah TV is that quite a few tunnels have been started along the tributaries, to harness the water thereof, and construct dams to generate the power. Some of these projects have seen tunnels being dug for 1 or 2 or 10 or 13 kilometres, and then the work has been halted, for scientific as well as religious reasons. In particular, a shrine to Kalimata at Srinagar is said to hold the Shakti of the Mata, and always the monsoon washes this shrine. Recently, some people decided to move the shrine, which is believed to hold the Shakti, to another place so that feasibility studies could be taken further. The people were told that the Mata's shrine would be relocated nearby, under a roof; local myth is that the Mata does not like a roof, and has stood for centuries in the open, inviting the monsoon rains. Further, people understood that if the Shakti was moved, there would be an explosion in that spot in Srinagar, and within a short while the tecktonic plates under the Himalayas would begin shifting and some calamity would ensue.
That is precisely what happened on 16th of this month, when the shrine was moved. Shortly thereafter the Himalayan tsunami made a headway from the mountains and caused the devastating floods in the Kedarnath valley. A fifteen metre high statue of Lord Shiva sitting in the yoga posture has been washed away, suggesting Father God was so angered by the removal of KaliMata's shrine that He has caused this devastation. Learned professors who have made scientific studies were advising against the removal of the shrine or the experiment of tunnelling for feasibility studies. Where echos cause break up of ice on the mountains and avalanches, there the presence of heavy drilling equipment is causing a disturbance.
I have just translated the gist of this debate in the aftermath of the calamity that has visited the Kedarnath valley.
I pray for God's blessings on the 40,000 to 50,000 people displaced or made homeless in this disaster, and the several hundred still missing. The rescue mission by the Indian army, air force and navy continues; may they safely carry out their mission.
|Posted on June 21, 2013 at 2:12 PM||comments ()|
A huge avalanche of water that has descended on the Kedarnath Vale in Uttarakhand, has claimed 50 lives so far, with another 1,000 persons presumed missing. People in this valley serve the pilgrims who visit to the shrine of Lord Shiva, and a number of them have met with tragedy, losing members of family to the floods, which have washed away entire areas including a lot of the picturesque boarding houses which stood at the edge of the river Ganga.
These devastating floods are a sign of the change in the pattern of weather being experienced throughout the world at this stage. India has not seen floods like the Himalayan tsunami for the last 80 years.
The Indian army, navy and air force response has been magnificent, as they have rescued more than 450 people so far, deploying more than 60 helicopters and 10,000 personnel, and continue to work round the clock, to drop food, water, blankets to the people marooned out there in the narrow and steep Kedarnath valley, and rescuing a safe load of people each time. May God's blessings be on these people, both the victims of the floods and the brave people heroically carrying out their duties.
It cannot be an easy task piloting camaflouged helicopters in rainy or misty conditions, in temperatures which are getting low; one commercial helicopter crashed, but thankfully it had no passengers and the pilot was rescued.
People marooned out there in the valley have seen starvation and thirst for five days since the deluge of water engulfed that area. Some people have seen several members of family washed away in front of their eyes; others have experienced seeing their neighbours drop dead from cold as they sat there.
On such a pilgrimage, people would not have imagined that they would be caught up in anything like these devastating floods.
The government has done some immediate emergency relief efforts, including the impressive rescue mission by the services. About 50,000 people are said to have become homeless and displaced. It remains to be seen what the government will do for them in the coming days and months.
My brotherly condolences are with the people who have suffered in this natural disaster; people who were looking for peace and God, they surely now rest at the Lotus feet of our Lord in Heaven.
My brothers and sisters, I share your grief.
|Posted on May 21, 2013 at 5:14 AM||comments ()|
Last few days I have had a big number of visitors from Dorking, Surrey, and Oakland, California, to my website and blog. I am pleased to note the interest.
In the meantime, overnight the sad news of tornadoes in Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and another few states, half mile width tornadoes causing terrible devastation, with over 90 people dead. It is forecast that the tornadoes are headed towards Nebraska.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of these areas, and their safety and survival in the near future. These areas are being declared as areas of major emergencies, and whatever the technical definition, hopefully the necessary funds will be allocated to all these areas to rebuild and get back to normal. These are tragedies at the hands of Nature, and may God rest the souls of all those who have lost their lives in these overwhelming acts of Nature.
May God's blessings be upon all.