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Delhi’s air quality to remain ‘very poor’ over the weekend: IMD

The average levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 were 174 and 285 microgram per cubic metre on Friday, a senior IMD official said and added that such conditions are expected to remain over the next two days due to atmospheric conditions.

dna Research & Archives
Delhiites would do well to avoid outdoor activities over the weekend as the city’s ‘very poor’ air quality brings with it the possibility of respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.The average levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 were 174 and 285 microgram per cubic metre on Friday, a senior IMD official said and added that such conditions are expected to remain over the next two days due to atmospheric conditions.”The wind is not that strong so suspended particulate matters won’t get easily dispersed. Winds from the himalayas have also brought in moisture and resulted in a drop of day- time temperature,” the official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Real-time figures of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) were more alarming as PM 2.5 and PM 10, fine pollutants which can penetrate deep into the respiratory system, were multiple times higher than the safe limits of 60 and 100. Anand Vihar’s PM 2.5 and PM 10 were 316 microgram per cubic metre and 781 at 8.50 PM while the same were 242 and 480 in the RK Puram area at 5 PM. However, the average level of pollution has seen a dip over the last two days.On December 9, 24-hour-average reading of PM 2.5 was 204 and the Central Pollution Control Board’s real-time air quality index in places like Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh, RK Puram had touched the ‘severe’ category at many points during the day.’Very poor’ quality air signifies PM 10 and PM 2.5 levels between 351 and 420, and 211 to 252 micro gram per cubic metre while ‘severe’ is declared when PM 2.5 and PM 10 cross 253, 421 micro gram per cubic metres respectively. PM 2.5, microscopic in size, is considered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the best indicator of the level of health risks from air pollution.

Chennai floods: Rains will batter Tamil Nadu for a week more, 2 days crucial – IMD

“The phenomenon will continue for the next seven days, but the next 48 hours are very crucial. Neighbouring states will also see rainfall activity,” Rathore said.

Rains will continue to batter Tamil Nadu for the next seven days and the next 48 hours are “very crucial”, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday said. IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore attributed the heavy rains to a “trough of low” over Southwest Bay of Bengal off Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka coast which will continue to bring rains over the next three days. Thereafter, the state will see an anti-cyclone activity which will be associated with “heavy rains” at some places.”The phenomenon will continue for the next seven days, but the next 48 hours are very crucial. Neighbouring states will also see rainfall activity,” Rathore said. He said the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi chaired a high-level meeting with the “stake holders”, including officials of National Disaster Management Authority, which was attended by Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary through a video conference. The IMD also briefed about the weather forecast.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A warning has also been issued for coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh (especially Nellore and Chittoor), interior Tamil Nadu and Rayalseema region of Andhra Pradesh. The period October to December is referred to as Northeast Monsoon season over peninsular India. It is a major period of rainfall activity over the southern peninsula, particularly Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. For Tamil Nadu this is the main rainy season accounting for about 48 per cent of the annual rainfall. Coastal districts of the state get nearly 60 per cent of the annual rainfall and the interior districts about 40-50 per cent of the precipitation.However, this season Tamil Nadu alone has witnessed 50 per cent excess rainfall by December 1 itself. “Almost all districts of Tamil Nadu have received excess rainfall ranging from 10 to 150 per cent,” Rathore said.According to the IMD data, Chennai has seen 89 per cent more than normal rainfall this season, while the districts of Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Vellore and Tirunveliveli received 154 per cent, 139 per cent, 136 per cent and 110 per cent excess precipitation respectively so far.

Maharashtra: Unseasonal rains hit rabbi crop, Nashik farmers worried

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of continued rain showers and hailstorm in parts of the district. The unseasonal rains in mid November have caused concerns for the rabbi crop.

With unseasonal rains lashing the Nashik region for the last three nights, strong concerns have been raised for the agricultural scenario in the district since grapes, onions, paddy, wheat and other crops are being affected.The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of continued rain showers and hailstorm in parts of the district. The unseasonal rains in mid November have caused concerns for the rabbi crop.On Saturday, the district witnessed about 100mm of rainfall with intermittent heavy showers in the evening. On Monday, the rainfall was recorded as 239.4mm. On Saturday, Nashik Tehsil received the highest rainfall of the day with 28.9mm while on Sunday Nandgaon got 43mm of rainfall.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The climate throughout the day appeared to be normal except for the cloudy cover in the evening with increase in humidity. On Tuesday, the clouds covered the district all day long. However, it did not rain till early evening.While there were predictions for a hailstorm, thankfully, the farmers were saved from the brunt of it. However, they were hit by the unseasonal rains that kept falling throughout the night.Farmers in areas of Niphad, Pimpalgaon Baswant, Yeola where grapes and onions are the major crops, are a worried lot. Onion crop in areas of Malegaon, Manmad, Lasalgaon, Umrane, Deola, Kalwan, Niphad and Yeola have suffered damage. The paddy, nagali, varaie have suffered loss in areas of Trimbakeshwar, Igatpuri and other places.Hundreds of acres under paddy cultivation now lies flat as the standing paddy crop ready to be harvested has been hit by unseasonal rains. The rice grains that are drenched now are likely to turn black.The story is no different with onion. While onions have already been in short supply in the market due to the drought situation that led to the failure of the kharif crop, it was expected that the rabbi onion or the winter onion will ease the situation. “The onion is likely to again see the severity,” opines Suresh Bhor, farmer from Chandori.The winter or pol onion which was almost ready for harvest has come under the wrath of the unseasonal rains. The bulbs are now drenched and heavy as they are water laden and likely to rot. While those who were in process of planting for the summer onion are also affected as the saplings have not been able to withstand the blow of the showers, informs Bhor. The grapes in the region too are under the cloud of infections and spread of diseases. “Season after season the story of grapes does not seem to be changing,” opines Bhaskarrao Bankar, a grape grower from Pimpalgaon Baswant.Those who have done the cutting of the plantation around 10 to 15 September, now have berries to the plants. The unseasonal showers have hit these berries which are water-laden. This will lead to cracking and falling of the bunches. Those vineyards in the flowering stage are hit as the rains have washed off the flowering with no hopes for the fruits to form; and those vineyards which are in the pre-flowering stage are likely to catch infections like the Downy that eats up the plants, states Bankar.”Infections and diseases are likely to spread in such wet, cloudy weather. The crops have not seen the sun for two three days and this will result in decay of the berries and leaves. Farmers are awake all night to remove the water from the plants, leaves and berries thereby trying to save them from decay. But it’s not easy: labour is not available at night, and if at all it comes, it’s comes at a very high price. I myself have converted last two nights into days and am desperately trying to save my grapes,” he said.Bankar states that it is a very trying situation. “Every time we face damage due to nature, we build new hopes for a new season and try and stand up. But such beating time and again has affected our morale. Solutions like shed net, or new paper cover technology or plastic cover are expensive and we only hope that we get support from the government in the form of subsidy for these sheds,” added Bankar.

Southwest monsoon ends 14 percent lower than normal in India

New Delhi: Rainfall in the country was 14 percent lower than normal during the Southwest monsoon that officially ended on Wednesday with a double-digit rain deficit being recorded for the second consecutive year causing drought in some states.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

This year’s summer rains were particularly affected by the El-Nino phenomenon with the deficiency for the four-month long season being more or less in line with the forecast of the Indian Meteorological Department(IMD) which predicted 12 percent deficit. Last year, there was a 12 percent deficit.

Around 55 percent of the country, however, received “normal” rainfall, the IMD said.

The official period for the Southwest Monsoon season in India is between 1 June and 30 September.

“Rainfall in Southwest monsoon was 14 percent deficient. We are satisfied that our Long Range Forecast have turned out as per our prediction. This was for the first time that we made a prediction of more than 10 percent deficiency,” IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said.

IMD had made a forecast of 88 percent rainfall with plus or minus 4 percent.

Country wise, Northwest India has recorded a deficiency of 17 percent, followed by 16 percent in Central India, 15 percent in Southern Peninsula and 8 percent in East and North-east India.

Several parts of the country also witnessed a drought like situation. For instance the deficiency in Marathwada ended at 40 percent, but situation has particularly turned grim where the overall deficiency now stands at around 45 percent. Incidentally, West Rajasthan, which is usually known to be arid, has received 46 percent more rainfall this year.

The season this year witnessed rainfall, which started with excess rainfall for the first month, but ended with a deficiency in the remaining three months.

The monsoon, which hit the Kerala coast a tad late on 5 June, four days after the official onset of rainy season in India. June saw 16 percent excess rain this season. However, July witnessed deficiency of 16 percent. It further grew to 22 and 24 percent for August and September respectively.

Some of the states that have observed very poor rains are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and Maharashtra, Skymet, a rival of IMD said.

With weak monsoon, India’s food grain production is also projected to drop by 1.78 percent to 124.05 million tonnes in the 2015-16 kharif season due to poor monsoon and drought-like situation in some states like Karnataka. Food grain output was 126.31 million tonnes (MT) in the kharif (summer) season of the 2014-15 crop year (July-June).

As the season ended with a deficit, as on 23 September, ninety-one major water reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission (CWC) filled to the extent of only 62 percent to its total capacity of 253.388 billion cubic meter (bcm).

PTI

Annual mean surface air temp to rise by 1.7 deg C by 2030s: Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar

A government study has projected a rise in the annual mean surface air temperature in India by 1.7 degrees Celsius by 2030s, Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.

Prakash Javadekar

A government study has projected a rise in the annual mean surface air temperature in India by 1.7 degrees Celsius by 2030s, Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that a scientific study to assess the impact of climate change had been undertaken and a report titled ‘Climate change in India: 4×4 assessment – a sectoral and regional analysis for 2030s’ was published by the government in 2010.”The report has assessed impacts of climate change on four key sectors of Indian economy – agriculture, water, natural ecosystems and biodiversity and health in four climate sensitive regions of India – Himalayan region, Western Ghats, the coastal area and the North East region.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As per the report, the annual mean surface air temperature is projected to rise by 1.7 degrees Celsius and 2 degrees Celsius by 2030s,” Javadekar said.He said that the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published in 2014 highlights that the mean surface temperature of the globe has risen by 0.85 degree Celsius over the period of 1880 to 2012.In line with rising temperature across the globe, all India mean temperature has rise by nearly 0.6 degree Celsius over the last 110 years.Further a report entitled ‘Climate change a risk assessment’ released by UK Foreign and Commonwealth office states that the probability of exposed individuals experiencing such conditions in a give year starts to become significant for a global temperature rise of around 5 degrees Celsius and could exceed 50 per cent for a global temperature rise of around 7 degrees Celsius in hot areas such as Northern India, South Eastern China and South Eastern US, Javadekar said.He said that the government has released the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which has eight missions – national water mission, national mission on sustaining the Himalayan ecosystem, green India Mission, National Mission on sustainable agriculture focus on adaptation measures for reducing and managing the risk of climate change including rise in temperatures.Replying to another question, Javadekar said there is no study reported so far, which supports the fact that many type of instances similar to natural calamities are occurring in the Himalayan region due to global warming.He said for monitoring and prediction of extreme weather events over the Himalayan region, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has established centres in Srinagar, Shimla, Dehradun, Gangtok, Guwahati and Agartala for forecast of natural calamities like heavy rainfall, snowfall and thunderstorm.He said that Earth System Science Organisation has also established a network of various observatories while IMD has set up 24×7 weather monitoring and forecasting system for providing weather facilities to defence personnel by establishing specialised observatories in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir.Javadekar said that although the government has not constituted a group of experts to study the incidents occurring in the Himalayan region, his Ministry has launched the Indian Network of Climate Change Assessment which has been conceptualised as a network based scientific programme designed to assess the drivers and implications of climate change.Replying to another question, he said, no specific study on deterioration of seashore and beaches has been conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).”However CPCB is monitoring creeks and seashore water including beaches at 41 locations. The water quality data indicate that values of parameters like biochemical oxygen demand, total coliform, feacal coliform and dissolved oxygen does not confirm to the prescribed norms at many monitored locations,” he said.

Floods wreak havoc killing over 50 people in West Bengal, 3 in Manipur

The flood situation in south Bengal remained grim on Sunday with the death toll crossing 50. Around 2.14 lakh people have taken shelter in 1,537 relief camps in the 12 districts affected by the deluge.

With nine more deaths being reported from different districts on Sunday, the death toll from rains and floods climbed over 50.

Children use big cooking pots as floats in a flooded area in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. PTI

Children use big cooking pots as floats in a flooded area in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. PTI

These deaths include the demise of four children, reported IANS. The children were killed and four other people were seriously injured when they were struck by lightning in Basithat in North 24 Parganas district on Sunday, police said.

Buildings with weak structures collapsed in many places, including in Kolkata, following overnight downpour.

While two people were killed in a building collapse in Katwa in Burdwan district, an elderly man was crushed to death after a portion of his house collapsed in Kolkata.

A two-year-old was killed in Murshidabad district when a wall collapsed. A similar death was reported in Bankura district.

“Altogether 1,537 relief camps have been set up to shelter over 2.14 lakh marooned people and 204 medical camps have been opened,” sources told PTI, adding that the total number of affected people was nearly 37 lakh.

President Pranab Mukherjee, in individual messages to the governors of the flood-affected states including West Bengal, condoled the loss of lives due to Cyclone Komen and the floods.

Three killed in Manipur

Many places in Manipur were inundated today due to heavy downpour in the state since the past two days, with the officials reporting three deaths due to drowning.

A large portion of Thoubal, Bishnupur, Imphal West, Chandel, Imphal East and Churachandpur districts have come under flood waters in Manipur, an Irrigation and Flood Control Department (IFCD) official said.

Three persons, one each from Chandel, Thoubal and Churachandpur districts drowned in last three days, police said.

The water level on all major rivers in Manipur is, however, receding as rains stopped since yesterday.

There was flood water in Imphal West district areas as well as Uripok, sagolband, Lamphel, some portion of Kwairamban bazar yesterday, sources at IFCD said.

Six bridges constructed on the Chakpi river were washed away by turbulent water in Manipur’s Chandel district yesterday, they said.

Thousands of people have been rendered homeless by the flood in the state. They took shelter in safe places and organised relief camps locally today, sources said.

Most of the agricultural crops, including paddy were damaged due to flood water in six districts of Manipur, agriculture department sources said.

Mamata reviews situation, assures support to people in West Bengal

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday held a meeting with senior officials at the state secretariat to review the situation. She also postponed her upcoming tour of north Bengal.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Mamata Banerjee over phone and enquired about the flood situation in the state. (Read more here)

“Over 12 districts have been hit and over 36 lakh people affected by the heavy rainfall. Till today, 71 mm of rainfall has been recorded. The release of water by the neighbouring states like Odisha and Jharkhand has only compounded the problem,” said the CM.

The Chief Minister said Murshidabad, Hooghly, Burdwan, Howrah were the worst affected districts. She assured that top government and police officials were deputed to supervise relief and rescue work.

Banerjee said that besides 47 municipalities, 210 blocks and 9,691 villages were affected by the flood due to heavy rains triggered by Cyclone Komen. Crops in over 2.1 lakh hectares of land were destroyed across the state, she said.

“While the entire state administration is working to reach out to the affected, we urge all political parties and NGOs to assist in relief work,” she said.

She told reporters that she had instructed the officials to monitor the situation round-the-clock and take prompt appropriate steps.

“Even though there was reduced rainfall today, the situation remained unchanged in Burdwan, Hooghly, Howrah, West Midnapore and East Midnapore districts as the quantum of release of water from different barrages remained almost the same following heavy rains in upper catchment areas,” state Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee said.

The districts of South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Nadia and Murshidabad districts were the other badly affected areas, he said.

“The situation remained unchanged in the affected districts mainly because of high tide and release of water from different barrages. However, the situation is likely to improve from tomorrow,” Rajib Banerjee said.

Heavy to very heavy rain expected on Monday in some areas, says IMD

According to an Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) release in Kolkata, heavy to very heavy rain might occur at isolated places of Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum, Bardhaman, Howrah, East and West Midnapur districts of Gangetic West Bengal.

On Monday, heavy rainfall was likely at isolated places over Gangetic West Bengal, Sub Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, it warned.

The sea would be rough along and off the West Bengal coasts, the IMD said on Sunday and asked fishermen to be cautious while venturing out in the waters.

The Chief Minister, who had visited the affected areas in Udainarainpur in Howrah district on Saturday, is likely to go to more flood-affected areas soon, state secretariat sources said.

Banerjee instructed a number of ministers and senior officials to visit the affected areas and supervise relief arrangement.

Situation improves slightly as rain water recedes on Sunday

The situation in the city improved on Sunday with rain water receding from most areas which went under water after deluge since Friday. Over the two days, the city recorded rainfall measuring 170 mm due to Cyclone Komen.

Water had receded from places in Central Avenue, Amherst Street, Camac Street, Swinhoe, Street, Lansdowne Market areas, Alipore by Saturday night itself, member mayoral council (drainage) Tarak Singh said.

“Waterlogging is still there at added areas in ward no 122, 125, 126. Our officers are there,” he added.

Normal train services at Howrah and Sealdah sections of Eastern Railway have been restored with removal of water from the tracks, said ER CPRO, Ravi Mahapatra.

The city’s underground Metro Railway service also ran normally, said Mahapatra, who is also Metro Railway CPRO.

Normal train services have also been restored under South Eastern Railways. Movement of the trains was a bit slow as tracks at some places were still submerged, the SER CPRO Sanjay Ghosh said.

(With agency inputs)

Floods wreak havoc in Bengal; Over 50 people, including 4 children, dead

The flood situation in south Bengal remained grim on Sunday with the death toll crossing 50. Around 2.14 lakh people have taken shelter in 1,537 relief camps in the 12 districts affected by the deluge.

With nine more deaths being reported from different districts on Sunday, the death toll from rains and floods climbed over 50.

Children use big cooking pots as floats in a flooded area in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. PTI

Children use big cooking pots as floats in a flooded area in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. PTI

These deaths include the demise of four children, reported IANS. The children were killed and four other people were seriously injured when they were struck by lightning in Basithat in North 24 Parganas district on Sunday, police said.

Buildings with weak structures collapsed in many places, including in Kolkata, following overnight downpour.

While two people were killed in a building collapse in Katwa in Burdwan district, an elderly man was crushed to death after a portion of his house collapsed in Kolkata.

A two-year-old was killed in Murshidabad district when a wall collapsed. A similar death was reported in Bankura district.

“Altogether 1,537 relief camps have been set up to shelter over 2.14 lakh marooned people and 204 medical camps have been opened,” sources told PTI, adding that the total number of affected people was nearly 37 lakh.

The sources said that 38,046 houses were damaged and 2,05,901 houses were damaged partly. Crop over an area of
4,72,645 hectares was damaged due to the floods.

President Pranab Mukherjee, in individual messages to the governors of the flood-affected states including West Bengal, condoled the loss of lives due to Cyclone Komen and the floods.

Mamata reviews situation, assures support to people

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday held a meeting with senior officials at the state secretariat to review the situation. She also postponed her upcoming tour of north Bengal.

“Over 12 districts have been hit and over 36 lakh people affected by the heavy rainfall. Till today, 71 mm of rainfall has been recorded. The release of water by the neighbouring states like Odisha and Jharkhand has only compounded the problem,” said the CM.

The Chief Minister said Murshidabad, Hooghly, Burdwan, Howrah were the worst affected districts. She assured that top government and police officials were deputed to supervise relief and rescue work.

Banerjee said that besides 47 municipalities, 210 blocks and 9,691 villages were affected by the flood due to heavy rains triggered by Cyclone Komen. Crops in over 2.1 lakh hectares of land were destroyed across the state, she said.

“While the entire state administration is working to reach out to the affected, we urge all political parties and NGOs to assist in relief work,” she said.

She told reporters that she had instructed the officials to monitor the situation round-the-clock and take prompt appropriate steps.

“Even though there was reduced rainfall today, the situation remained unchanged in Burdwan, Hooghly, Howrah, West Midnapore and East Midnapore districts as the quantum of release of water from different barrages remained almost the same following heavy rains in upper catchment areas,” state Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee said.

The districts of South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Nadia and Murshidabad districts were the other badly affected areas, he said.

“The situation remained unchanged in the affected districts mainly because of high tide and release of water from different barrages. However, the situation is likely to improve from tomorrow,” Rajib Banerjee said.

Heavy to very heavy rain expected on Monday in some areas, says IMD

According to an Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) release in Kolkata, heavy to very heavy rain might occur at isolated places of Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum, Bardhaman, Howrah, East and West Midnapur districts of Gangetic West Bengal.

On Monday, heavy rainfall was likely at isolated places over Gangetic West Bengal, Sub Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, it warned.

The sea would be rough along and off the West Bengal coasts, the IMD said on Sunday and asked fishermen to be cautious while venturing out in the waters.

The Chief Minister, who had visited the affected areas in Udainarainpur in Howrah district on Saturday, is likely to go to more flood-affected areas soon, state secretariat sources said.

Banerjee instructed a number of ministers and senior officials to visit the affected areas and supervise relief arrangement.

Situation improves slightly as rain water recedes on Sunday

The situation in the city improved on Sunday with rain water receding from most areas which went under water after deluge since Friday. Over the two days, the city recorded rainfall measuring 170 mm due to Cyclone Komen.

Water had receded from places in Central Avenue, Amherst Street, Camac Street, Swinhoe, Street, Lansdowne Market areas, Alipore by Saturday night itself, member mayoral council (drainage) Tarak Singh said.

“Waterlogging is still there at added areas in ward no 122, 125, 126. Our officers are there,” he added.

Normal train services at Howrah and Sealdah sections of Eastern Railway have been restored with removal of water from the tracks, said ER CPRO, Ravi Mahapatra.

The city’s underground Metro Railway service also ran normally, said Mahapatra, who is also Metro Railway CPRO.

Normal train services have also been restored under South Eastern Railways. Movement of the trains was a bit slow as tracks at some places were still submerged, the SER CPRO Sanjay Ghosh said.

(With agency inputs)

Larger part of the country has recieved excess/normal rainfall so far: IMD

From June 1 to July 15, the country received 280 mm of rainfall as compared to normal precipitation of 298.9 mm, which is six per cent less than the normal limit.

A larger part of the country has has received excess/normal rainfall from June 1 to July 15, the India Meteorological Department said on Thursday. From June 1 to July 15, the country received 280 mm of rainfall as compared to normal precipitation of 298.9 mm, which is six% less than the normal limit. All regions in the country, except Northwest India– which has recorded 12% more rainfall than its normal limit–, has witnessed deficient rainfall.”Rainfall is excess/normal in 61% (371 districts) and deficient/scanty in 39% (238 districts),” the IMD said. The MET department has already predicted a “deficient” monsoon with July and August expected to receive minus 8 and minus 10% respectively.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Central India and Western India, which saw good rainfall in June, are now witnessing deficient monsoon recording minus 15 and minus 13% of precipitation respectively. The situation in the East and Northeast India is slightly improving with many parts receiving good rainfall over the past 2-3 days.

June gets 16 percent more rainfall than normal but monsoon has weakened in India

New Delhi: Though the country received 16 percent more rainfall than normal in June, monsoon has slowed down in several parts which have recorded deficient rain, India Meteorological Department has said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Monsoon has weakened since the end of last week, IMD, which has forecast 8 and 10 percent less than normal rainfall in July and August respectively, said.

The east and northwest India, which initially recorded good rainfall, received just one percent of overall normal rain so far. The northeastern states of Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have received 31 percent deficient rainfall this month, while Bihar got 27 percent less rain than normal.

Several parts of the southern peninsula have witnessed deficient rain which includes the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (-21 percent), Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry (-18 percent), Kerala (-13 percent).

However, the Central (23 percent) and Northwest India (31 percent) have recorded good precipitation.

IMD has already asked the Agriculture department to keep a contingency plan ready to tackle the situation arising out of inadequate rain.

The Southwest Monsoon made its entry on 5 June after a delay of four days. However, it quickly covered the entire country by 26 June, almost 20 days ahead of the normal date 15 July.

42 percent deficient rainfall was recorded in June last year and it had created fear among farmers and policy makers. However, the situation improved after good rain in July, August and September that brought down the season’s deficiency by 12 percent.

PTI

Monsoon covers entire country, way ahead of schedule, says IMD

New Delhi: Moving at a brisk pace, the Southwest Monsoon today covered the entire length and breadth of the country, way ahead of schedule in a year in which there is a deficit rainfall forecast for India.

“The Southwest Monsoon has further advanced into remaining parts of West Rajasthan. Thus, it has covered the entire country today, June 26, 2015,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its bulletin.

Good monsoon. AFPGood monsoon. AFP

Good monsoon. AFP

The normal date for the monsoon to cover entire India is 15 July.

“The Southwest Monsoon has covered the entire country. Even the last post of West Rajasthan has been covered entirely.

“In fact, monsoon onset over the region usually happens around July 15, but some good rains in the last 24 hours has led to the declaration of monsoon over West Rajasthan,” added Skymet, a private forecasting agency.

The monsoon made a late entry this year as it hit the Kerala coast on 5 June — a delay of four days from its normal onset date. However, it made speedy progress and has covered the entire country in some 21 days.

Incidentally, IMD has predicted “deficient” rainfall this year.

Meanwhile, Laxman Singh Rathode, the Director General of IMD, said that in 2013, too, the monsoon had covered the entire country before schedule.

So far, from 1 June onwards, the country has received 28 percent more rain than its normal limit. For the first time in the season, northwest India has recorded 27 percent more precipitation than normal while central India has so far received 55 percent more rainfall.

The southern peninsula has witnessed 30 percent more rain than what it usually receives. Eastern and northeastern India received 3 percent more rainfall than the normal.

Over the past 24 hours, northwest India has received 469 percent more rain. While the normal rainfall is 3.2-mm, the region received showers measuring 18.2-mm.

Jammu and Kashmir received a whopping 1,324 percent more rainfall as the state measured 34.2-mm rainfall in the last 24 hours as against a normal limit of 2.4 mm.

East Rajasthan, where the normal precipitation is 2.6-mm, received 24.6-mm rainfall, marking a 846 per cent increase.

Gujarat region saw 635 percent more rain while showers were 812 percent more than the normal in Saurashtra and Kutch.

PTI

Despite good monsoon, government says its ready with contingency plan

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted deficient rains for the June-September season this year.

PTI
The government is ready with a contingency plan despite an above normal monsoon so far, and Agriculture Ministry has been asked to take care of any situation if rains remain deficient going forward, Minister of Science & Technology YS Chowdary said today.”Monsoon definitely not only revived but it is very encouraging. In few pockets, there may have some issues but across the country it is going to be very good. “Government is ready with contingency plan in some states. We have already informed the Agriculture Ministry to take care (of that). And by and large is it very positive now,” Chowdary said on the sidelines of an event organised by Yes Bank promoted Yes Institute that works towards attracting funds for social innovation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted deficient rains for the June-September season this year.However, private firm Skymet has predicted an above normal monsoon. Chowdary said the Ministry has many areas under its ambit, including power saving, solar, structural design, green energy and landscape. “In the Ministry, we have many areas, power saving, solar, structural design, all these areas are very crucial. We can participate in many areas from green energy to landscape. Our Ministry has a very broad spectrum. We are seriously thinking of creating smart cities and science cities. So every smart city can be attached with the science city. In the area of science and technology we can inspire lot of young people to get involved,” he said.The Minister also said that the government is thinking of connecting with various countries on a collaborative working model to work towards these goals. He said the government wants to focus on green energy. “Particularly in power sector they want to reduce the usage of fossil fuels. It’s a long term plan. Softbank (of Japan) is a great initiative,” he added. Two days earlier, Japan’s SoftBank Corp had committed an investment of US $20 billion for setting up solar power projects in India in partnership with domestic telecom giant Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan’s Foxconn.

Monsoon to reach North India in 2-3 days

According to Skymet, a private forecasting agency, the southwest monsoon is making a good progress and conditions are favourable for further advance.

Representational image
File Photo
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After making a slow progress, the southwest monsoon has advanced rapidly and is likely to hit almost the entire north India, including Delhi and the National Capital Region in the next 2-3 days, the MET department on Monday said.The weatherman said monsoon will also advance to Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and parts of Madhya Pradesh during that time.Belying predictions, the country has received 21% more rainfall than normal for this time of the year, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.”Conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into remaining parts of north Arabian sea, the state of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, entire Uttar Pradesh, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir, most parts of Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Rajasthan over the next three days,” the IMD said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to Skymet, a private forecasting agency, the southwest monsoon is making a good progress and conditions are favourable for further advance.”After a sloppy and delayed start, southwest monsoon advanced at a fast pace against all odds and has already delivered 16% excess rainfall since the beginning of the monsoon season.”In a couple of days, it is likely to cover Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, North India including parts of Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and hilly states including Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh,” Skymet said.Himachal Pradesh is expected to receive extremely heavy rainfall on June 24 and June 25, it added.”There are multiple weather systems in the region that are currently active and will give very heavy rain in the state.For instance, a western disturbance is approaching the hilly region, while a cyclonic circulation is seen over parts of Central Pakistan and adjoining Punjab,” Skymet added.Until now, the country has got 21% more rain than normal, the IMD added. Central India and the southern peninsula received 45 and 35% more rain respectively than normal. The east and northeast India received 3% more rain than normal, while the northwest region recorded 7% deficient rainfall.

South West monsoon further advances into Odisha, heavy rains expected

The MeT office said gusty surface wind speed from north- easterly direction reaching 45 to 50 kmph and touching 60 kmph may prevail along and off Odisha Coast.

Representational image
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The south-west monsoon has further advanced into Odisha and heavy rains are expected in the next 24 hours in the state following a low pressure over Bay of Bengal off South Odisha-North Andhra Pradesh Coast.”The system may concentrate into a depression in the next 24 hours found over west-central and adjoining north-west Bay of Bengal off South Odisha-North Andhra Pradesh Coast,” A K Majhi, director in-charge of the IMD, Bhubaneswar, said.The MeT officials have also forecasted rains and thundershowers in most places over Odisha due to the phenomenon.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Heavy to very heavy rains may occur at places over south and north Odisha in the next 24 hours, they said.The department has also issued an advisory to the fishermen to not venture into the sea.The MeT office said gusty surface wind speed from north- easterly direction reaching 45 to 50 kmph and touching 60 kmph may prevail along and off Odisha Coast.In regard to advancement of the monsoon, the IMD said now it has covered the entire districts of Kendrapara, Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nawarangpur, Koraput and Malkangiri, most parts of Nuapada, Bhadrak and Nayagarh, some parts of Bolangir, Kandhamal, Cuttack, Balasore and Jajpur and few portions of Baragarh, Sonepur and Boudh.The bulletin said the conditions are favourable for further advance of south-west monsoon into some more parts of Chattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal in the next 48 hours.

Southwest monsoon makes a slow advance, delay expected in Bihar, UP: IMD

New Delhi: The southwest monsoon’s progress has slowed down as it has not made any progress for the past five days, the weathermen said on Thursday.

“For the fifth consecutive day, the Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) has not made any advancement. It continues to pass through Veraval, Surat, Ujjain, Narsinghpur, Raipur, Kalingapatnam, Krishnanagar and Darjeeling.”

“The cyclonic circulations in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are still in the process of getting organised. Only after the weather systems organise that we can expect NLM to advance further.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Monsoon usually arrives in Bihar by 10 June and over east Uttar Pradesh by 15 June but with NLM remaining static, further delay is expected in the onset of monsoon over these areas,” Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency said.

However, next week could see some respite from the heat as monsoon is again expected to become active.

“The movement of monsoon is not like a train. It does experience some phases of lull. But it is expected to get active by next week,” India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi, Y S Chowdary, Minister of State for Earth Sciences, said the monsoon’s progress is “satisfactory” until now.

IMD also said that over the 48 hours, the temperature in northwest India, which includes Delhi and parts of NCR, will see a rise by over two degrees and fall thereafter.

Overall, the country has received 11 per cent more rain than its normal limit with east and northeast India and central India getting an excess rainfall of 16 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. The southern peninsula has witnessed a normal rainfall whereas northwest India has received seven per cent below normal rainfall.

The MET department has already made a forecast that India will receive deficient rainfall in 2015.

The timely onset of the South-West monsoon is crucial for sowing of kharif (summer) crops such as paddy and a deficit in rainfall may hit rice output.

Agriculture, which contributes only 15 per cent to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but employs about 60 per cent of the population, is heavily dependent on monsoon as only 40 per cent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.

Last year, the country had received 12 per cent less rains, which hit production of grains, cotton and oilseeds.

Due to poor monsoon, agriculture growth stood at 0.2 per cent in 2014-15 fiscal. According to government’s estimate, total foodgrains production has declined to 251.12 million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July-June) from a record production of 265.04 million tonnes in 2014.

PTI

IMD latest: Chances of deficient monsoon up from 33% to 66%

In April, the IMD, in its first long-range forecast, had said that the country will receive 93% long-period average (June-September) rainfall. On Tuesday, it was brought down to 88%.

Amit Bandre
dna
Bad days are looming large. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday downgraded its monsoon season forecast from below normal to deficient.In April, the IMD, in its first long-range forecast, had said that the country will receive 93% long-period average (June-September) rainfall. On Tuesday, it was brought down to 88%.What this means is that the probability of a deficient monsoon has gone up from 33% in April to 66% now.As if on cue, the Sensex fell by over 650 points and Crisil cut the GDP forecast.The IMD’s latest forecast spells bad news for the agrarian sector, already reeling under unseasonal summer rains and hailstorms. Across the country, 80 lakh hectares of crop lands were devastated due to the rains, with pulses bearing the maximum brunt.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The high possibility of deficient rainfall would be ominous for Maharashtra, which suffered one of the worst droughts in India in 2013, as well as states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.As feared by many, El Nino conditions are well-established over the equatorial Pacific Ocean, weakening trade winds that are necessary to push southwest monsoon from the sea to the landmass.El Nino conditions are likely to strengthen further and reach moderate strength during the monsoon season. The El Nino is a weather phenomenon — marked by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures — that causes droughts in South Asia. Though it is not the lone factor influencing monsoon, it has been historically known to reduce the quantum of rainfall in the sub-continent.Meanwhile, across regions, North-West India will see the least rainfall, likely to be 85% of LPA while North-East India will receive 90% of LPA.The silver lining in the forecast is for central India and the south peninsula region that have faced droughts in the past couple of years.As per the IMD forecast, central India is likely to receive 90% rainfall of LPA while south peninsula will receive 92%. What’s deficient monsoon?In its revised forecast on Tuesday, IMD said: “Quantitatively, monsoon season rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 88% of the long-period average (LPA) with a model error of +/- 4%”. The LPA monsoon over the country is 890mm as per historical data, while rainfall below 90% is defined as deficient monsoon.

Monsoon likely to hit Kerala coast on 30 May, says IMD

New Delhi: Monsoon is likely to hit the Kerala coast on May 30, two days before its scheduled arrival in India even as the country stares at the possibility of below normal rains for a second consecutive year.

Monsoon are due sooner than expected. ReutersMonsoon are due sooner than expected. Reuters

Monsoon are due sooner than expected. Reuters

The Indian Meteorological Department today said that conditions are becoming “favourable” for advancement of southwest monsoon over the Andaman Sea and adjoining areas during the next 3-4 days.

IMD has already predicted that India is likely to witness a “below normal” monsoon season for a second consecutive year. It has partly blamed the El Nino phenomenon for the low forecast.

“The southwest monsoon is likely to set over Kerala on 30 May with a model error of ± 4 days.

“Advance of southwest monsoon over Andaman Sea normally takes place around May 20 with a standard deviation of about one week. During the last few days, enhanced convection and increased rainfall activity has been observed over the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

“The cross equatorial flow is likely to strengthen and deepen over the area. As such, conditions are becoming favourable for advance of southwest monsoon over the Andaman Sea and adjoining sea areas during the next 3-4 days,” IMD said in a statement.

Unlike last year, when it was delayed by four days, monsoon will this year will hit Kerala on 30 May, the event denoting the official onset of the wet season in the country.

The official date for monsoon to hit the southern state is 1 June.

If the monsoon reaches Kerala on 30 May, it will be the seventh time in 10 years when the state witnesses the rains arriving earlier than the scheduled date.

PTI

Monsoon expected to hit Kerala on 1 June but rainfall may remain below normal

Monsoon is expected to arrive on time this year, hitting Kerala on June 1, but rainfall may remain below normal, prompting the government to put in place a contingency plan and push crop insurance for farmers.

The contingency plan would cover as many as 580 districts that may witness monsoon deficit, while the Agriculture Ministry is also mulling over steps to popularise crop insurance schemes among the farming community.

“The onset of monsoon looks normal. An error window of 2-3 days can be taken. As of now, there is no delay in arrival of rain. However, monsoon is expected to be below normal due to El Nino factor,” a senior IMD official told PTI.

The timely onset of south-west monsoon is crucial for sowing of kharif (summer) crops like paddy and a deficit in rainfall may hit the rice output. Last year, the country had received 12 per cent less rains, which hit production of grains, cotton and oilseeds. After a poor monsoon in 2014, the untimely rains during March-April this year have already put farmers in distress and there have been quite a few cases of farmer suicides.

Preparing for below-average rains, the Agriculture Ministry is working hard to minimise the impact of weak monsoon on kharif production especially

ReutersReuters

Reuters

rice and food inflation.

“The state governments have been asked to fully gear up to implement the contingency plan in 580 districts. In some districts, we are updating contingency measures as per the local needs,” Agriculture Secretary Siraj Husain said.

He further said a big push would be given to popularise crop insurance scheme among the farming community. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), which has earlier forecast below-average monsoon in 2015, is scheduled to announce on May 15 the likely date of monsoon onset and its progress thereafter.

Private weather forecaster Skymet will also release its update on monsoon around the same time.

“We are projecting normal monsoon, which is expected to land on time around June 1 with 2-3 days of error window,”
Skymet CEO Jatin Singh said. As per IMD also, the normal date for monsoon onset on the southern coast is June 1.

Agriculture, which contributes only 15 per cent to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but employs about 60 percent of population, is heavily dependent on monsoon as only 40 percent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.

PTI

Live: Nepal earthquake death toll at 6,204; tremors of low intensity felt in Assam

May 1, 2015

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A high-intensity quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale on Saturday rocked many parts of east and north India, including Delhi. The epicentre of the earthquake was in Nepal.

Tremors were felt across eastern and northern parts of India, said JL Gautam, Head Operations Seismology of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

“Earthquake of magnitude 7.5 occurred today at 11.41 AM between latitude 28.1 North and Longitude 84.6 East. The epicentre was located in Nepal,” an IMD statement said. The magnitude was later revised to 7.9.

An earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit Nepal on Saturday. Reuters

An earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit Nepal on Saturday. Reuters

The tremors, which were felt in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, lasted for about a minute, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out of their houses and offices.

There were no immediate reports of loss of life or damage to property in Delhi, but several houses were damaged and reports of people being injured in Nepal.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted about the earthquake, saying the government was in the process of finding out more information.

ANI also reported that after the tremors, a stampede took place in Kutchery, Varanasi.

Officials said Metro train services in Delhi were also affected due to the earthquake. Mobile phone services in Patna were also reportedly affected.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar consulted his state administration and took stock of the situation. “Information is being collected from all districts. Everyone is on the field,” Nitish Kumar said.

Mild tremors were felt in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out in the open.

Etah, Farukkhabad, Mainpuri, Hathras, Aligarh, Varanasi, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli, Faizabad and Muzaffarnagar were some of the districts that experienced the quake.

In Rajasthan, the tremors were felt in Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Ajmer, Sikar and Bundi.

In Jaipur, people in Bapu Nagar, Barkat Nagar, Sodala and Jhotwara rushed out of their buildings in panic. However, no loss to life or property was reported.

The tremors were felt in various parts of Kolkata, especially in Lake Town, Salt Lake, Dalhousie and Park street area.

“The tremors of the earthquake which had its epicentre in Nepal region was felt here in the city and other parts of the Eastern region. The magnitude of the earthquake on the Richter Scale is 7.5 . We are still waiting for more details,” DK Das , a senior official of Kolkata Meteorological department said.

Reports from the districts said it was also experienced in Purulia, Bankura, Burdwan, East Midnapore and Nadia district.

No loss of life or property was reported from anywhere in Haryana and Punjab, which also felt the tremors.

DG of Meteorological Department LS Rathore also said that aftershocks of 6.6 magnitude were felt following the initial tremors. MET Director GL Gautam called the earthquake a “massive earthquake”.

(With inputs from PTI)

Winning hearts and headlines: PM Modi doesn’t want India’s efforts in Nepal to go unnoticed

Operation Maitri has perhaps redefined the way India responded to a natural disaster, whether within the country or in its neighbourhood. India and Nepal have always enjoyed friendly relations, and are socially, culturally and historically tied to each other. What has changed things now is the alacrity and the scale with which Modi government reacted to a devastating natural tragedy in India’s neighbour.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s quick response has earned him thanks from Nepali authorities and possibly of the people there as well. Modi after all, rose in stature as a leader and as an able administrator when he successfully changed the face of Bhuj, Anjar and other areas devastated by 2001 earthquake in Gujarat. Over the years, he seems to have bettered his instinctive response to such situations.

India’s prompt response may also have been guided by strategic reasons apart from humanitarian ones.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing a meet on relief measures in Nepal. PIB imagePrime Minister Narendra Modi chairing a meet on relief measures in Nepal. PIB image

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing a meet on relief measures in Nepal. PIB image

“If we had not risen to the occasion and stood by the neighbour then China could have found it an occasion to penetrate in the Nepalese hinterland. Historically we have so much in common with Nepal and we did exactly what we ought to have done under the circumstances”, a senior BJP MP said.

There is a conscious attempt by his party and senior ministers in the government to attribute all the good work that the official agencies are doing to the Prime Minister. Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in Parliament was most revealing in this regard.

“I have no hesitation in admitting this in the House that I was not aware about this till I reached home (after attending inauguration function of National Intelligence Academy where Modi was also present). But the prime minister had already received the information. The prime minister told me that he had called a meeting at 3 pm. A big tragedy has happened and you would have received the information, Honestly, I would admit that the promptness I should have shown as home minister and the information I should have got were not there,” Singh said.

Modi has been holding review meetings almost on a daily basis with top functionaries including finance minister Arun Jaitley, home minister Rajnath Singh, defence minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra, and Additional Principal Secretary to PM PK Mishra, and senior officials from IMD, and NDRF. In the last meeting, Modi also made a broad assessment of the long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction work that would be required, especially in Nepal, and was briefed on the first steps that were being taken. He also suggested that ex-servicemen could be approached to help in the co-ordination effort.

The government is keen that its rescue and relief efforts do not go unnoticed. While transmission of information about rescue and relief measures does give a instil confidence among people stranded in affected areas, it also gives a sense to the world at large that the Indian government was responding adequately to the need of the hour. This time around Modi government seems to be particularly sensitive on this count.

Top bureaucrats including Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Home Secretary LC Goyal, Defence Secretary RK Mathur, Member Secretary, NDMA, RK Jain and Director General IMD Dr LS Rathore have been tasked to hold media briefings every evening and give updates on relief work as well as the current situation. It is perhaps for the first time since the Kargil war when the government is organising daily media briefings by such high level officials.

A day before the second half of the budget session began, Modi while speaking at a workshop of BJP MPs, rued that the government had failed to effectively communicate its rescue work in Yemen, from where hundreds of Indians had been safely evacuated. Modi is now putting a system in place that should begin working as soon as there’s a natural or man made calamity, a BJP leader said.

Last year Modi has shown promptness after flash floods struck Jammu and Kashmir or when there was a threat of a flash flood in Bihar due to a possible breach in barrage on river Kosi in Nepal. Earlier, as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate he was involved in rescue and relief during the floods in Uttrakhand and landed in the state to launch a parallel relief and rescue operation.

Among the affected regions of India, Bihar has suffered maximum damage, both in terms of life and property. As per the official figures 57 persons, out of 72 deaths in India, have died in the state. With four NDRF teams already in Bihar and ex-gratia payment increased, both the centre and state are acting as a team. But with assembly elections is the state only six months away, the politics over it will soon intensify.

Live: Nepal PM Sushil Koirala says earthquake death toll could rise to 10,000

Apr 28, 2015

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A high-intensity quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale on Saturday rocked many parts of east and north India, including Delhi. The epicentre of the earthquake was in Nepal.

Tremors were felt across eastern and northern parts of India, said JL Gautam, Head Operations Seismology of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

“Earthquake of magnitude 7.5 occurred today at 11.41 AM between latitude 28.1 North and Longitude 84.6 East. The epicentre was located in Nepal,” an IMD statement said. The magnitude was later revised to 7.9.

An earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit Nepal on Saturday. Reuters

An earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit Nepal on Saturday. Reuters

The tremors, which were felt in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, lasted for about a minute, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out of their houses and offices.

There were no immediate reports of loss of life or damage to property in Delhi, but several houses were damaged and reports of people being injured in Nepal.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted about the earthquake, saying the government was in the process of finding out more information.

ANI also reported that after the tremors, a stampede took place in Kutchery, Varanasi.

Officials said Metro train services in Delhi were also affected due to the earthquake. Mobile phone services in Patna were also reportedly affected.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar consulted his state administration and took stock of the situation. “Information is being collected from all districts. Everyone is on the field,” Nitish Kumar said.

Mild tremors were felt in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out in the open.

Etah, Farukkhabad, Mainpuri, Hathras, Aligarh, Varanasi, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli, Faizabad and Muzaffarnagar were some of the districts that experienced the quake.

In Rajasthan, the tremors were felt in Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Ajmer, Sikar and Bundi.

In Jaipur, people in Bapu Nagar, Barkat Nagar, Sodala and Jhotwara rushed out of their buildings in panic. However, no loss to life or property was reported.

The tremors were felt in various parts of Kolkata, especially in Lake Town, Salt Lake, Dalhousie and Park street area.

“The tremors of the earthquake which had its epicentre in Nepal region was felt here in the city and other parts of the Eastern region. The magnitude of the earthquake on the Richter Scale is 7.5 . We are still waiting for more details,” DK Das , a senior official of Kolkata Meteorological department said.

Reports from the districts said it was also experienced in Purulia, Bankura, Burdwan, East Midnapore and Nadia district.

No loss of life or property was reported from anywhere in Haryana and Punjab, which also felt the tremors.

DG of Meteorological Department LS Rathore also said that aftershocks of 6.6 magnitude were felt following the initial tremors. MET Director GL Gautam called the earthquake a “massive earthquake”.

(With inputs from PTI)

Live: Fresh tremors felt in Nepal, parts of India; death toll crosses 4,000 mark

Apr 27, 2015

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A high-intensity quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale on Saturday rocked many parts of east and north India, including Delhi. The epicentre of the earthquake was in Nepal.

Tremors were felt across eastern and northern parts of India, said JL Gautam, Head Operations Seismology of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

“Earthquake of magnitude 7.5 occurred today at 11.41 AM between latitude 28.1 North and Longitude 84.6 East. The epicentre was located in Nepal,” an IMD statement said. The magnitude was later revised to 7.9.

An earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit Nepal on Saturday. Reuters

An earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit Nepal on Saturday. Reuters

The tremors, which were felt in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, lasted for about a minute, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out of their houses and offices.

There were no immediate reports of loss of life or damage to property in Delhi, but several houses were damaged and reports of people being injured in Nepal.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted about the earthquake, saying the government was in the process of finding out more information.

ANI also reported that after the tremors, a stampede took place in Kutchery, Varanasi.

Officials said Metro train services in Delhi were also affected due to the earthquake. Mobile phone services in Patna were also reportedly affected.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar consulted his state administration and took stock of the situation. “Information is being collected from all districts. Everyone is on the field,” Nitish Kumar said.

Mild tremors were felt in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out in the open.

Etah, Farukkhabad, Mainpuri, Hathras, Aligarh, Varanasi, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli, Faizabad and Muzaffarnagar were some of the districts that experienced the quake.

In Rajasthan, the tremors were felt in Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Ajmer, Sikar and Bundi.

In Jaipur, people in Bapu Nagar, Barkat Nagar, Sodala and Jhotwara rushed out of their buildings in panic. However, no loss to life or property was reported.

The tremors were felt in various parts of Kolkata, especially in Lake Town, Salt Lake, Dalhousie and Park street area.

“The tremors of the earthquake which had its epicentre in Nepal region was felt here in the city and other parts of the Eastern region. The magnitude of the earthquake on the Richter Scale is 7.5 . We are still waiting for more details,” DK Das , a senior official of Kolkata Meteorological department said.

Reports from the districts said it was also experienced in Purulia, Bankura, Burdwan, East Midnapore and Nadia district.

No loss of life or property was reported from anywhere in Haryana and Punjab, which also felt the tremors.

DG of Meteorological Department LS Rathore also said that aftershocks of 6.6 magnitude were felt following the initial tremors. MET Director GL Gautam called the earthquake a “massive earthquake”.

(With inputs from PTI)

After devastating Nepal earthquake, experts say India may be next

New Delhi: In the wake of the strong 7.9 magnitude earthquake that killed over a 1,500 people in Nepal and left a swathe of devastation in the northern Himalayas on Saturday, experts said a temblor of equal intensity is “overdue” in northern India.”

“An earthquake of the same magnitude is overdue. That may happen either today or 50 years from now… in the region of the Kashmir, Himachal, Punjab and Uttrakhand Himalyas. Seismic gaps have been identified in these regions,” BK Rastogi, the director general of the Ahmedabad-based Institute of Seismological Research, told IANS on the phone.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

This is because the movement of tectonic plates generates stress over time, and rocks at the surface break in response. When the stress accumulates, every 100 km stretch of the 2,000-km-long Himalyas can be hit by a high-magnitude earthquake.

“The accumulation of stress is going on everywhere. But where it will reach the elastic limit, we don’t know nor also when. But what we do know is that it is happening everywhere,” Rastogi added.

“With 20 such locations that are prone to high-intensity earthquakes, it takes 200 years for an earthquake of this magnitude to happen on this belt. In 1833, the same epicentre – 80 km northwest of Kathmandu — an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude had hit the region,” he said.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Saturday’s quake, measuring 6 on the Richter scale in Delhi, had a depth of 10 km and its impact lasted up to one minute.

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre was in Nepal’s Lamjung district some 75 km from Kathmandu. The aftershocks were felt even half-an-hour after the quake and some lasted till evening.

Rastogi said that the earthquake uplifted the rocks by four meters, rupturing an area 100 km long and 50 meters wide of the epicentre.

Scientist PR Vaidya at IMD here, said Nepal falls on the Alpine-Himalayan belt, one among the three seismic belts on the Earth’s surface, which is responsible for 10 percent of the world’s earthquakes.

The Apline-Himalayn belt, which is prone to high-intensity earthquakes, runs through New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and northeast India, from where it turns to Nepal and then to Jammu and Kashmir, up to Afghanistan and the Mediterranean Sea. It finally ends in Europe.

The world’s greatest earthquake belt, the circum-Pacific seismic belt, is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 80 percent of the world’s largest temblors occur.

Rastogi said within the 40-km-range of the epicentre, the scale of damage has been very high, with a total collapse of buildings.

The aftershocks, he added, would be felt for two days in case of a “strong” earthquake” of about magnitude 8.

“Even small buildings that were hit in the first wave may be damaged by the aftershocks if not designed properly. And the aftershocks may continue for one or two months,” he said.

About 40 million years ago, India was 5,000 km south of where the Himalyas now stand. With the continental shift, India and the Asian continent came closer to form the Himalayas.

“And the process of movement continues at about two cm every year. The Indian landmass today is pushing the Asian landmass and that generates stress,” Rastogi said.

Scientist Vaidya said: “Earthquakes happen because of the theory of plate tectonics, which means with the movement of tactonic plates, stress in generated in the rocks.”

The quake claimed nearly 40 lives in India, causing widespread destruction in parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Earthquakes, however don’t kill, said Vaidya. “It’s the damage caused to the structures around us that cause the loss of life.”

IANS

Live: Death toll in Nepal quake rises to 1901, PM Modi announces Rs 2 lakh compensation to Indian victims families

Apr 26, 2015

Highlights

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A high-intensity quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale on Saturday rocked many parts of east and north India, including Delhi. The epicentre of the earthquake was in Nepal.

Tremors were felt across eastern and northern parts of India, said JL Gautam, Head Operations Seismology of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

“Earthquake of magnitude 7.5 occurred today at 11.41 AM between latitude 28.1 North and Longitude 84.6 East. The epicentre was located in Nepal,” an IMD statement said. The magnitude was later revised to 7.9.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The tremors, which were felt in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, lasted for about a minute, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out of their houses and offices.

There were no immediate reports of loss of life or damage to property in Delhi, but several houses were damaged and reports of people being injured in Nepal.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted about the earthquake, saying the government was in the process of finding out more information.

ANI also reported that after the tremors, a stampede took place in Kutchery, Varanasi.

Officials said Metro train services in Delhi were also affected due to the earthquake. Mobile phone services in Patna were also reportedly affected.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar consulted his state administration and took stock of the situation. “Information is being collected from all districts. Everyone is on the field,” Nitish Kumar said.

Mild tremors were felt in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out in the open.

Etah, Farukkhabad, Mainpuri, Hathras, Aligarh, Varanasi, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli, Faizabad and Muzaffarnagar were some of the districts that experienced the quake.

In Rajasthan, the tremors were felt in Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Ajmer, Sikar and Bundi.

In Jaipur, people in Bapu Nagar, Barkat Nagar, Sodala and Jhotwara rushed out of their buildings in panic. However, no loss to life or property was reported.

The tremors were felt in various parts of Kolkata, especially in Lake Town, Salt Lake, Dalhousie and Park street area.

“The tremors of the earthquake which had its epicentre in Nepal region was felt here in the city and other parts of the Eastern region. The magnitude of the earthquake on the Richter Scale is 7.5 . We are still waiting for more details,” DK Das , a senior official of Kolkata Meteorological department said.

Reports from the districts said it was also experienced in Purulia, Bankura, Burdwan, East Midnapore and Nadia district.

No loss of life or property was reported from anywhere in Haryana and Punjab, which also felt the tremors.

DG of Meteorological Department LS Rathore also said that aftershocks of 6.6 magnitude were felt following the initial tremors. MET Director GL Gautam called the earthquake a “massive earthquake”.

(With inputs from PTI)

Live: Death toll reaches 876 in Nepal, India steps up rescue operations

Apr 25, 2015

Highlights

  • 18:55(IST)

  • 18:48(IST)

  • 18:41(IST)

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  • 18:34(IST)

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  • 17:22(IST)

A high-intensity quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale on Saturday rocked many parts of east and north India, including Delhi. The epicentre of the earthquake was in Nepal.

Tremors were felt across eastern and northern parts of India, said JL Gautam, Head Operations Seismology of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

“Earthquake of magnitude 7.5 occurred today at 11.41 AM between latitude 28.1 North and Longitude 84.6 East. The epicentre was located in Nepal,” an IMD statement said. The magnitude was later revised to 7.9.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The tremors, which were felt in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, lasted for about a minute, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out of their houses and offices.

There were no immediate reports of loss of life or damage to property in Delhi, but several houses were damaged and reports of people being injured in Nepal.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted about the earthquake, saying the government was in the process of finding out more information.

ANI also reported that after the tremors, a stampede took place in Kutchery, Varanasi.

Officials said Metro train services in Delhi were also affected due to the earthquake. Mobile phone services in Patna were also reportedly affected.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar consulted his state administration and took stock of the situation. “Information is being collected from all districts. Everyone is on the field,” Nitish Kumar said.

Mild tremors were felt in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out in the open.

Etah, Farukkhabad, Mainpuri, Hathras, Aligarh, Varanasi, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli, Faizabad and Muzaffarnagar were some of the districts that experienced the quake.

In Rajasthan, the tremors were felt in Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Ajmer, Sikar and Bundi.

In Jaipur, people in Bapu Nagar, Barkat Nagar, Sodala and Jhotwara rushed out of their buildings in panic. However, no loss to life or property was reported.

The tremors were felt in various parts of Kolkata, especially in Lake Town, Salt Lake, Dalhousie and Park street area.

“The tremors of the earthquake which had its epicentre in Nepal region was felt here in the city and other parts of the Eastern region. The magnitude of the earthquake on the Richter Scale is 7.5 . We are still waiting for more details,” DK Das , a senior official of Kolkata Meteorological department said.

Reports from the districts said it was also experienced in Purulia, Bankura, Burdwan, East Midnapore and Nadia district.

No loss of life or property was reported from anywhere in Haryana and Punjab, which also felt the tremors.

DG of Meteorological Department LS Rathore also said that aftershocks of 6.6 magnitude were felt following the initial tremors. MET Director GL Gautam called the earthquake a “massive earthquake”.

(With inputs from PTI)

Delhi to get unified system to monitor air pollution, says MoEF

New Delhi: Amidst concern over rising air pollution levels in Delhi, the government today decided to provide daily updates on air quality in the city through a uniform and scientific validation process.

The Environment Ministry, which held a joint meeting of all related agencies today, said the new “unified” system is likely to be put in place in two weeks’ time and will ensure dissemination of authentic air quality information of Delhi to the public at large.

At present, Delhi’s air quality is being monitored by three different agencies – Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and IMD — to meet specific requirements of their operations.

“It was decided that all the monitoring systems will follow a uniform scientific calibration protocol and validation process.

“Data for notified monitored parameters from all the monitoring stations will be seamlessly sent to CPCB for their analysis and authenticated air quality information will be communicated to DPCC on daily basis for further dissemination to public at large,” an official statement said.

This comes after media reports suggested that the DPCC was allegedly rapped for releasing raw air quality data. The Union Environment Ministry also decided that DPCC’s data would be validated by CPCB before it is released online, the reports suggested.

The joint meeting, chaired by Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, was attended by officials of Environment Ministry, CPCB, DPCC and IMD.

The aim of the meeting was to maximise the usage of data generated by these networks and harmonise observations, calibration, data gathering, analysis, information dissemination protocols and to provide authentic air quality information to the people of Delhi.

“A joint team drawing members from each organisation will be formed to evolve Standard Operating Procedures (SoP) and implement the same. This unified system, expected to be positioned in maximum two weeks’ time, will ensure authentic air quality information of Delhi to the public at large,” the statement said, adding that MoES-IITM/IMD will provide air quality forecast for Delhi.

NGOs working in this sector have been raising the issue of Delhi’s air pollution off late and Greenpeace India has also claimed that an average day in Delhi would be considered a very bad-air day in Beijing, another city known for its worse air pollution.

Greenpeace India has also submitted a proposal to the Delhi government urging it to issue a health advisory for schools.

The green NGO, which has collated data from various studies to give perspective about Beijing and Delhi in terms of parameters of pollution and mitigation plans, had said Delhi’s air pollution is worst than that of the Chinese capital and has called for stringent targets for industrial emissions and an action plan to protect citizens from air pollution.

PTI

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