A Landslide Welcome to 10/10/10 in Nagaland

On 10th  August, 2010 (10/10/10), as people across the Planet came together to take action on climate change, yet another landslide took place in Nagaland and shook our passive attitude towards taking action for “saving our environment”. The state witnessed major landslides at different locations in Pezielietsie Colony and lower Chandmari, destroying about seven houses during the wee hours of Saturday on October 9th.

It is reported that incessant downpour for the past few weeks in the state capital may have caused the landslides. The incident is relatively a common phenomenon for people living in such disaster prone areas.

Today, 350.org, an international campaign is building a movement across the world to bring solutions to the climate change crisis that science and justice demand. Focusing on the number 350—as in parts per million of CO2—it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.

This year’s campaign is termed as ‘global work party’ and some states in the Northeast also participated. “350 Walk The Talk” was organized in Digboi, Assam as part of the “Global Work Party”. The event aimed to create awareness among the common people about the number “350” and its importance with respect to controlling climate change. Another event, ‘Earth Meditation’ was organised in Tripura by the members of the Sampari Hukumu Bodol.

Just a day before such a global climate campaign took place, three houses have been destroyed displacing five families in the Northeast state of Nagaland. No casualties were reported except some minor injuries to some of the inmates. The landslide also carried away a parked vehicle and also slightly damaged a nearby church. Properties worth several lakhs of rupees was destroyed due to the landslide. Officers from the district administration visited the site to assess the damage caused by the moving earth.

Landslides are usually a natural phenomena in hilly terrains but are aggravated by the disturbances caused by construction activities, e.g., housing and transportation and by felling of large number of trees on the hilly slopes. This water-induced disaster is common in the region and is mostly triggered by extreme rainfall events, especially during the monsoon months. Nagaland is largely a mountainous state and has a largely monsoon climate with high humidity levels. Annual rainfall averages around 70–100 inches (1,800–2,500 mm), and is concentrated in the months of May to September.

A number of factors such as hill movement, rainfall, river flow and local and regional geology is known to have important bearing on landslide incidence, but it’s high time we approach such issues from a bigger perspective and understand the global cycle, changing climate induced increasing rainfalls as impacts and causes. The earth is an intact object and we all share a common environment. Hence, more needs to be done starting at the local level to create and built a better and safer world.

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