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Lesson from Kerala floods : Human activities, climate change has disastrous effects on environment

  Lesson from Kerala floods : Human activities, climate change has disastrous effects on environment   Sagaya Fernando Mumbai: 19 October 2021   Overexploitation of natural resources and haphazard development by humans has led to climate change, resulting in long-lasting consequences on the environment. This is increasing health hazards and natural disasters, and more, day by day. The torrential flooding being witnessed recently in the state of Kerala in India is a prime example of this, say many experts.   This is not the first time that Kerala, a state of 34 million people, has been devastated by floods. It saw the worst floods in a century in 2018 when severe rains caused flash floods and landslides, killing nearly 500 people and leaving a million homeless. The following year, more than 125 people were killed in flash floods and landslides across the state. More than 50 were killed in August last year after landslides struck the hilly Munnar region.   The latest spell of torrential

45 picnickers rescued from midst of raging river, while two swim to safety and 11 others get washed away

"45 picnickers rescued from midst of raging river, while two swim to safety and 11 others get washed away"

Sagaya Fernando
Mumbai: August 16, 2018

The holiday mood of some picnickers to the Sultangarh waterfall in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on August 15 turned into horror when they were caught in the swiftly rising waters of the Parbati river. Luckily 45 of them were rescued safely in an 8-hours long rescue operation conducted by army and National Disaster Response Force personnel.

Of the 13 people who were washed away in the swirling waters, two of them somehow managed to swim to safety.

“Being Independence Day holiday, many picnickers from Gwalior – a major city in the state located about 68 km northeast from Sultangarh waterfall – had come to the tourist spot. Till 4 in the evening, the water flow was normal, and large groups of people gathered on the rocks in the midst of the river a few meters away from the falls. The water level of the river suddenly rose due to the incessant rainfall during the day, catching a large number of picnickers unawares,” said local police officer Arun Singh Tomar.

Two groups – one numbering 45 and another of 13 – got stranded on the rocks. The group of 13 was very close to the falls, and the rising waters submerged the rock and the fast current swept them away one by one into the gorge below.

“Of the 13 who got swept away, two were local residents adept in swimming and were able to swim to safety,” said Tomar.

Rescue efforts were initiated by the NDRF and defence personnel from Central Reserve Police Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police at around 7 pm. Meanwhile, locals gathered on the banks of the river tried to save the stranded by throwing across ropes to them, but couldn’t succeed much in their efforts.

A helicopter was pressed into service to rescue the large group trapped on the big rocks in the water downstream. And, by 3 am on August 16 all these 45 stranded picnickers were pulled out to safety.

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