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| Last Updated:: 14/02/2016

Disaster

EARTHQUAKE

       Bureau of Indian Standards, based on the past seismic history, grouped the country into four seismic zones, viz. Zone-II, -III, -IV and –V. Of these, Zone V is the most seismically active region, while zone II is the least. Unfortunately Nagaland falls under the Zone-V category, making it one of the most seismically active region.

       The North East region is jawed between the two ranges (arcs), the Himalayan Range to the North and the Indo-Burmese (IBR) to the East. The Mishmi Hills occur at the junction between the Eastern Himalayas and the IBR. The northern part of the NS trending sigmoid IBR has been named as the Naga Hills. The Naga Hills link the Eastern Himalayas (Arunachal Himalayas) to the North and the Andaman Nicobar Islands to the South. Belts of narrow tectonised but nearly continuous late Mesozoic-Eocene Ophiolite suite of rocks (igneous rocks) and associated sediments (cherts and lime stones) skirt along the northern margin of the Himalayan range and the Eastern margin of the IBR( the Naga Ophiolite) that owe their origin to the collision history of the Indian Plate with the Tibetan Plate (towards the north) and later with the Burmese Plate (towards the East) respectively, sometimes 30 million years ago, leading to the development of fold- thrust belts of the Himalayas and the IBR. It is the outcome of that plate 11 convergence and collision which makes the NE Indian region one of the most seismically active areas of the world.

       Nagaland has been hit by many disasters in the past. The most notable ones are the Great Shillong Earthquake on 12th June 1897 which measured 8.7 in the Richter scale and the Assam Tibet earthquake on 15th August 1950 which measured 8.5 in the Richter scale. However, since those days there were no facilities to record and to document, there is no local data supporting the disasters. However interviews with the older generation people reveals that the 1950 earthquake was very much felt by Nagaland, and it even resulted in the destruction of many houses in certain areas. It was even said the earth opened up and buffalos were buried alive.

       In the most recent earthquake (4th january,2016), Nagaland state was fortunate with no reports of human casualties or major damage to properties. With an immensive strike measuring 6.7 at its epicenter point at Temenglong district Imphal. Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA), Home Department confirmed there was no report of human casualty. Some damage to properties were reported in Peren and Dimapur district.

       According to information from Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority, the earthquake originated in the western part of Manipur between Imphal and Noney-Longmai Tamenglong district, and occurred as the result of strike slip faulting in the complex plate boundary region between India plate and the Eurasia plate in Southeast Asia. The earthquake occurred at a depth of close to 50-55 km within the lithosphere plate. The origin time was recorded at 4:37am and travel time residual at 1.05 second. In the neighbouring state of Manipur such as Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram and Tripura the intensity was felt very strong.

       According to the U.S. Geological Survey the quake had a magnitude of 6.7 and occurred 57 km deep and struck 29 km west of Imphal in Tamenglong which borders Myanmar.


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LANDSLIDE

       Landslide is a major disaster that keeps affecting Nagaland specially in Monsoon, when heavy down pour is experienced all over Nagaland.

       It is a fact that properties worth lakhs and crores of rupees have been carried away by these Landslides. Some of the major Landslide Disasters that Nagaland has faced are - in August 2001 Dimapur area experienced a cloud burst which lasted almost for one hour. This gave rise to so many landslides in that area, particularly the Paglapahar region which experienced the heavy down pour. In a stretch of just 4 kms on National Highway 39, seven major slides occurred which brought traffic to a standstill. In this incident 1 Tata Sumo was crushed where 3 people were killed and some injured.

       In August 2003 the whole New Market colony in Kohima Town was affected by landslides. Many houses were razed to the ground, and many more were made unfit for habitation. The road was affected very badly, that for a year it had to be abandoned. Property worth lakhs were destroyed by this slide.

       The most tragic landslide that affected Nagaland in the recent past was the May 26th 2005 Landslide that occurred in Mokochung Town. In this pre dawn landslide, 14 people were buried alive, so many more injured and damage to property was extensive.

       Wokha town was affected very badly by a landslide in August 2006. National Highway 61 was affected very badly. Extensive damage to property was reported.

       During September 2006, Zunheboto Town was affected by a Major landslide. This resulted in extensive damage to property.

       On October 17, 2007- about 150 metres of National Highway 39 near Kiruphema went down almost 400 metres. This resulted in the complete blockade of the highway for 2 days.

       On August 22, 2015, National Highway 29 leading to Manipur was cut off after a major landslide from the hill top in Phesema village on Saturday, around 10km away from the state capital Kohima. The mudslide which swept down hills destroyed the nearby crop fields and properties. Although efforts were made for road-clearance, the mudslides and erratic weather have made such attempts futile.

 


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FLOOD

       Flood affects all the low lying areas of Nagaland bordering Assam. In the year 2005, the Township of Tuli and the adjoining areas were very badly affected by flood. This left the area marooned for many days.

       The different colonies of Dimapur Town remained submerged during 11th - 24th September 2008, which includes Dobhinalla, Super market, Nagarjan, Burma Camp, Walford, Sachu Colony, Nagagaon, Khermahal, Netaji Colony, Naharbari and Airport Areas.

       On July 2015, one youth was swept away and two others injured after a sudden monsoon flood inundated New Thewati village under Meluri Sub-Division, Phek district which submerged five rivers surrounding the village.

Five bridges which include one iron bridge, two wooden bridges and two concrete slate bridge were swept away by the flood. The villagers was virtually trapped between five overflowing rivers namely Khayowti, Lüyakti, Yowthriti and Lüyakti & Zezüti rivers between Shilloi and Laruri

Further, the lower khel of the vilage, which have been inundated by flood, forced the villagers to move up to the upper khel.

       On August 1, 2015, five villages in Meluri remained cut off because of flash floods.Five rivers, namely – Khayowti, Lüyakti, Yowthriti and Lüyakti and Zezüti swelled to abnormal levels following incessant rains. Five bridges were swept away in the flash floods cutting off as many as five interior villages falling under Phokungri circle from the rest of the state.

      Incessant rain on July 23, 2015 triggered heavy flooding in the catchment area and basin of Tizu river-- Zunheboto, Tuensang and Phek districts, destroying acres of paddy fields.The incident severely affected the poor villagers whose livelihood solely depend cultivations.

 

 

 


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FIRE

       Fire disaster is the most common disaster in Nagaland. During the Indo-Naga conflict, many villages were razed to the ground.

       Another major fire disaster is forest fire. Recent occurrence of forest fire at Dzükou Valley Kohima, around 381 hectars of land was reduced to ashes in 2015.

courtesy: Bhuvan

       On the 28th April 2009- 30 houses were burned in K. Sachu Colony, Ward 14 Dimapur. Many families were rendered homeless and property worth Rs.31,00,000 burned.

       On the 6th Feb 2009 52 houses were razed by fire in Naharbari Colony. Property worth 20 lakhs was burned.

       On the 23rd of April 2008 the biggest fire disaster in memory affected Nagarjan Colony in Dimapur. Two precious lives were lost, while 310 houses were burned to ashes. Property worth more than 1 crore was burned to ashes.

       On Jan 29th 2008, 100 houses along with 8 garages were burned to ashes in Golaghat Road. Property worth 1crore was charred down.

       On February 24, 2015, seven persons including two women were killed, and over 20 injured, when a powerful explosion rocked Wokha town, about 85 km east of Kohima in Nagaland, with police suspecting it to be an accidental case. While preliminary investigations indicate it was an explosion in a licensed gun-shop in Wokha town, it also led to a fire which gutted several adjoining houses, causing some domestic LPG cylinders to explode, leading to several casualties.

       On April 17, 2015, two houses in Tanhai village of Mon district were burnt down completely by fire which started from electric circuit in one of the kitchens. The fire service from Mon town rushed to Tanhai village to douse off the inferno.

       On October 25, 2015,a major fire rendered hundreds homeless in a thickly populated neighborhood of Dimapur. The fire started at around 5:00 pm at KK colony, a sub-locality of Kuda village.

While there were conflicting reports on the number of families affected, estimates indicated that it ranged between 100-500 households.

       No loss of life was reported. Fire & Emergency Services personnel stated casualty was limited to minor burn wounds, while it was yet to ascertain the cause of the fire.

       On September 23, 2015, a major fire on gutted several houses in a congested locality at Blue Hill station area, Golaghat road, Dimapur and rendered 22 families homeless. A steel furniture manufacturing unit was also partially burnt. Property estimated to be worth Rs 30 lakh were destroyed in the fire.

 

 

 

 

image courtesy: Morung Express


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HIGH SPEED WIND

       Storms and high speed wind are a recurring phenomenon every year. On the 29th of March 2008, a few buildings have been razed to the ground while electric poles and trees have been uprooted in Mokokchung District. In Kohima District, high speed winds have destroyed mobile towers during March and April 2009. In 2010, Hailstorm, accompanied by high velocity cyclone winds, lashed parts of Nagaland causing damages to lives and properties. Dozens of houses, including government property, were damaged in Atoizu subdivision. Around 10 houses were uprooted in Awotsakilimi village and an equal number in Yeshulto village. At least 60 houses were severely damaged in Changtongya town and Akhoya village in Mokokchung district


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DROUGHT

       It has been passed down by our ancestors that droughts have occurred in Nagaland in the past. However there are no documents and records to prove them. In 2009, Nagaland for the first time declared the whole state as drought affected, following a 37.15 per cent drop in normal rainfall that had adversely affected the cultivation of paddy and other crops.

       District wise rainfall data that year are as follows:

    • Kohima (-) 46.9;
    • Dimapur (-) 48.5;
    • Peren (-) 61.1;
    • Wokha (-) 28.4;
    • Mokokchung (-) 27.5;
    • Phek (-) 34.6;
    • Kiphire (-) 20.0;
    • Tuensang (-) 33.5;
    • Zunheboto (-) 38.0
    • Mon (-) 53.0

 

       Jalukie valley in Peren District, which is called the ‘Rice bowl of Nagaland’ had been very badly affected by drought that year. Huge areas of paddy cultivable land had been left barren due to shortage of water. The officials observed that cultivation or sowing seeds starts in the month of February and crops require optimum moisture for ideal growth between February and June. However, rainfall received during these months was deficient which had affected agricultural and horticultural crops to a large extent.


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REFERENCES


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