Millennium Post

The angry Bulbul

Cyclones in India's eastern coast are a periodical phenomena and given this recurring event, prevention needs to be the top-most agenda for any step in the wake of the cyclonic storm—the one to strike West Bengal now is Bulbul which has so far claimed at least 7 lives and has thrown normal life out of gear. With IMD's prediction of light to moderate rainfall over the next 6 hours from 12.30 pm in North and South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore and Nadia districts, the Met department has confirmed that the "very severe" cyclonic storm has weakened into "severe" one before making landfall close to Sunderban Dhanchi forest. Bulbul barrelled through the coastal districts of West Bengal before turning towards Bangladesh. The preceding heavy rains together with gale wind till early Sunday resulted in uprooting hundreds of trees and snapped cables. Among the deceased, one was crushed by a falling tree, two lost their lives to a wall collapse, and one was electrocuted after coming in contact with a lamp post. Considering that cyclonic storms are foreseeable events every season, the need for climate-resilient infrastructure stands reinforced. There is no substitute for preparedness, and measures to avert unfortunate incidents, prevent and minimise damage and mitigate the impact of a natural disaster as much as possible are the necessities to be equipped with. The compounded situation in Bengal is to the extent that the Chief Minister has announced to postpone her North Bengal visit in the coming week. Clearly, the ground reality is much worse for the residents whose lives are brought to a near-halt. As far as natural disasters go, most precipitate for anthropogenic reasons. Floods happen because of haphazard urbanisation, clouds burst due capitalist development that happen with utter disregard for the environment, earthquakes are also not the most inclement of calamities which come as a price of disregards to a land's sensitivity. It is not the geographical process of a sudden violent change brought by nature but the destruction that it causes that makes considering disasters what they are, to the effect they inflict. Cyclones cannot be attributed to anthropogenic reasons but cloud seeding is an effective method of mitigating the disastrous impact of a cyclone. In the Eastern coast where cyclones are seasonal, disaster preparedness essentially is a measure of what one can do to avert or mitigate its impact.

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