The monsoon preparedness review meeting that was held in Kohima on May 23 was timely and it is hoped that the members and agencies present must have deliberated in detail all aspects of the subject. The chief minister, who is also the chairman of the Nagaland State Disaster Management Agency, is appreciated for calling the meeting before disaster struck. Most natural calamities in Nagaland happen during the monsoon season.
The hilly regions are prone to landslides while the plains are prone to floods and, perhaps, past experiences must have prompted the chief minister to call the monsoon preparedness review meeting. Heavy and widespread rainfall is very likely to happen in the next few weeks across the region with the onset of monsoon season. With better and improved weather forecast technology now, the concerned agencies can be better equipped to make preemptive measures to mitigate any natural calamity that might happen during the monsoon season.
Let’s hope that the weather forecasts are not so severe that the chief minister himself had to call a preparedness meeting.
The last time that a major natural calamity hit Mokokchung was in the year 2005 when prolonged heavy rainfall triggered massive landslides that claimed the lives of at least 15 people, including five children, and destroyed a number of houses. That was exactly 17 years ago as it happened around this time of year. May 26, 2005 to be precise. On the same day, flash floods were reported in Tuli and adjoining areas that caused widespread damage and displacement.
Imagine the pain of losing a dear one to a natural calamity, of a child who is fast asleep being buried under a landslide, of people being forced to deal with losses of life and property in a natural calamity. It is felt that adequate awareness campaigns need to be waged to inform the citizens of impending natural calamities, of the monsoon fury in particular, if at all the authorities have information about the same. Besides, our hilly terrain coupled with loose soil and incessant rain is a perfect recipe for landslides which we are used to.
However, just because we are used to it does not mean that it should be simply ignored. For landlocked areas like ours, where roadways are the only mode of transportation, monsoons are challenging times as, even if there is no loss of life, landslides cut us off from the rest of the world. Sometimes, it takes more time than is necessary to clear landslides.
While there is not much that we can do to stop natural calamities during monsoon season, we can at least be adequately prepared. It is hoped that the monsoon preparedness review meeting has us covered.