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India Received 41% More Rainfall During October 1-21: Weather Office – dot newz

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This year, withdrawal of Southwest monsoon from northwest India began on October 6. (File)

Mumbai:

India received 41 per cent more rainfall than normal during October 1-21 with Uttarakhand alone recording more than five times its normal precipitation, India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed on Thursday.

Providing a numerical perspective to the unusually heavy rains ravaging several parts of the country, particularly the hill state of Uttarakhand in the north and coastal Kerala in the south, the IMD said the country received 84.8 mm against the normal 60.2 mm this month.

Of the 694 districts in the country, 45 per cent (311 districts in 16 states and union territories) recorded rainfall in “large excess” and 14 per cent (96 districts in six states and UTs).

Uttarakhand, where rains have claimed the lives of more than 54 people, recorded 192.6 mm against the usual 35.3 mm during October 1-20. The monsoon has wrought huge damage in the state, triggering floods and landslides that have blocked highways and smaller, key roads. Figures for the state were available till Wednesday, October 20.

Kerala received 445.1 mm of rainfall until October 20 as against the usual 303.4 mm. More than 40 people have been killed in Kerala, where videos of a house being swallowed by a swollen stream and landslides give a sense of how brutal the lashing was.

Heavy rains have also hit Sikkim, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, displacing people and damaging property.

Experts attribute the extreme weather events to various causes, including warming of the seas, unabated development and delayed withdrawal of the monsoon.

Balaji Narsimhan, professor at the Civil Engineering department, IIT-Madras, said it was undoubtedly an “unusual October” and pointed to “infrastructural challenges and unabated development”.

“Many of these extreme weather events have taken place earlier. But now places are more densely populated which amplifies the impact,” Mr Narasimhan, who also studied the 2015 Chennai floods, told PTI.

In December 2015, Chennai received its highest rain in 100 years in which more than 250 people were killed.

Discussing the situation in Kerala, Mr Narsimhan said the state gets bountiful rainfall both during the Southwest monsoon and the Northeast monsoon but this year has been different.

Explaining the heavy rainfall, IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said October saw the formation of two low pressure areas (cyclonic circulations that bring in rainfall and strong winds).

In Uttarakhand, he explained, the interaction between western disturbance and the low pressure area resulted in heavy rains this week.

The western disturbance over north India is a phenomenon typically observed in non-monsoon seasons.

“The interaction of cold winds of western disturbance and the warm winds of the low pressure area bring in thunderstorms and heavy rainfall,” Mr Mohapatra said, adding that such interaction had taken place during the deadly deluge in Uttarakhand in 2013 in which hundreds of people were killed.

M Rajeevan, former Ministry of Earth Sciences secretary who has been studying the Southwest monsoon for more than three decades, said there is a delayed withdrawal of the monsoon.

Since the retreat has been late over the last few years, the IMD in 2020 had revised the withdrawal date from northwest India.

This year, the withdrawal of the Southwest monsoon from northwest India commenced on October 6, the second-most delayed withdrawal since 1975. In 2019, it had started on October 9.

The IMD said its complete withdrawal from the country is expected around October 26.

“More importantly, the active conditions of Southwest monsoon which began in September have still not ended. Usually, such an active phase does not last for a month, but this time it has,” Mr Rajeevan said.

Warming of seas around India is another factor, Mr Rajeevan pointed out.

He said the warming of the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea helps in forming a cyclonic circulation. This year, it is aided by La Nina conditions – the phenomenon is associated with the cooling of the Pacific waters and usually results in good rainfall activity – and some remnants of cyclonic circulation from the Pacific Ocean.

Once these remnants enter the Bay of Bengal, the warm water aids in formation of cyclonic circulations.

In a paper published earlier this year, Mr Rajeevan along with other meteorologists, said from 1970 to 2019, 7,063 extreme weather events killed 1,41,308 people in the country.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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High Altitude Areas In Uttarakhand Receive Season’s First Snowfall – dot newz

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The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places (File)

Dehradun:

The Himalayan temple of Kedarnath and the high altitude areas of Chamoli district received the season’s first snowfall on Thursday while it drizzled in the lower areas intensifying the chill across the state.

Besides the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district, the Musk Deer Park, Valley of Flowers and the Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli district also received snowfall, officials in Dehradun said.

The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places, including state capital Dehradun.

The temperature recorded in Dehradun on Thursday was 15.4 degrees Celsius, Tehri 10 degrees Celsius, Pantnagar 18.4 degrees Celsius, Mukteshwar 8.4 degrees Celsius and Almora 13.4 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department in Dehradun said.



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37 Years On, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Still Await Adequate Compensation – dot newz

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“In 1984, Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at Centre”: Bhopal Gas Tragedy Minister

Bhopal:

Thirty-seven years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, the survivors and the family of the dead are still waiting to be compensated fairly with an organisation working for them claiming that each victim has so far received less than one-fifth of the allotted sum.

The leak of methyl isocyanate, a toxic gas, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, had killed over 3,000 people and left 1.02 lakh others affected at that time. However, the number of affected later rose to over 5.70 lakh.

Talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vishvas Sarang said, “In 1984, the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre. The two governments did not put forth the case of the victims in a right manner to enable them to get more compensation.”

Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) co-convener ND Jayaprakash said the Supreme Court assisted settlement on February 14-15, 1989 worth Rs 705 crore was based on the assumption that only around 3,000 persons died and 1,02,000 were affected.

“This compensation was a complete sham as each gas victim ended up being given less than one-fifth of the sum allotted even as per the terms of that unjust settlement,” he added.

When asked to explain, he said that the financial aid was USD 470 million in 1989. The dollars turned into more than Rs 3,000 crore in 2004, when the disbursements started.

“But the number of the victims swelled to 5.73 lakh and this amount was distributed among them. So, each victim got one-fifth of the compensation,” he added.

“The failure on the part of the Supreme Court to hear the long-pending curative petition against the unjust settlement of 1989, has had an adverse impact on the interests of the gas victims,” he said in a media statement.

The curative petition (civil), which was filed by the Union of India on December 3, 2010 to challenge the unjust settlement of 1989 and to seek additional sum of at least another Rs 7,724 crore as compensation was last listed before the Constitution Bench of the Court on January 29 last year, he said.

“However, the hearing was postponed to February 11 last year. Sadly, the matter was never listed on that date or ever since then,” he said.

Failure to dispose of the curative petition has also meant the indefinite postponement of the hearing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed on March 17, 2010 by eight members of Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) and BGPSSS, he said.

In the SLP, the two NGOs have sought enhancement of settlement sum by a factor of five in terms of the magnitude of the disaster as assessed by the claim courts and in terms of the gravity of injuries suffered by the gas victims on the basis of their medical records, Jayaprakash said.

Failure to dispose of the pending curative petition and the SLP for over a decade has effectively denied the gas-victims several thousands of crores of additional compensation that they are legitimately entitled to, he added.

In the curative petition, the Centre has sought Rs 7,724 crore as additional funds from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Centre, in its plea, is seeking a direction to Union Carbide and other firms for Rs 7,722 crore additional amount over and above the earlier settlement amount of USD 470 million in 1989 for paying compensation to the gas tragedy victims.

On June 7, 2010, a local court had convicted seven executives of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) to two years of imprisonment in connection with the incident. The then UCC chairman, Warren Anderson, was the prime accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. On February 1, 1992, the Bhopal CJM court had declared him an absconder. He died in the US in 2014. 



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5 Contacts Of Bengaluru Omicron Patient Test Positive For Covid, Isolated – dot newz

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Bengaluru:

Five contacts of an Omicron patient have turned out to be Covid positive, Karnataka announced today, shortly after the Union health ministry said the first patients of the new Covid variant have been found in the state. The patients have been isolated and their samples have been sent for genome testing, Karnataka said amid concern over the highly infectious strain that has set off global alarm.

One of the two initial patients is a 46-year-old health worker from Bengaluru, who developed symptoms of fever and body ache on November 21.

He tested positive the following day and was admitted to hospital; his sample was sent for genome sequencing on the same day.  But three days later he was discharged.

After extensive contact tracing, the Karnataka government said he had 13 direct contacts and more than 250 secondary contacts.

The other confirmed Omicron patient is a 66-year-old South African national who came to India with a negative Covid report.

The man, who received both vaccine doses, tested positive on arrival and was asymptomatic, following which he was told to self-isolate.

A week later, with a negative Covid report from a private lab, he flew to Dubai. Samples from his 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts have returned negative test results.



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