Dam breach in Kerala-Images


The flood waters released from Aliyar Dam gushing out of the breached right bank protection works of Moolathara Dam near Chittur on Sunday.


The flood water gushing out of the opened shutters of Moolathara Dam on Sunday after its right bank protection works got breached in the flood water released from Aliyar Dam.


The right bank protection works of Moolathara Dam washed out in the flood waters released from Aliyar Dam on Sunday.


The flooding of Chitturpuzha due to the breach of the Moolathara right bank protection works due to the release of water from Aliyar Dam on Sunday.


The `Nilampathy bridge’ (Causeway) at Chittur that was submerged in the flood waters due to the breaching of the Moolatharam Dam right bank protection works on Sunday


124 dead, 60 missing in El Salvador flooding


Residents stand on a bridge that collapsed due to heavy rain in Zacatecoluca, El Salvador on Sunday, Nov. 8 , 2009

 Mud and boulders loosened by heavy rains swept down a volcano and partly buried a small town on Sunday, swallowing up homes as flooding and landslides across El Salvador killed at least 124 people

Mud and boulders loosened by heavy rains swept down a volcano and partly buried a small town on Sunday, swallowing up homes as flooding and landslides across El Salvador killed at least 124 people, authorities said.

Hundreds of soldiers, police and residents dug through rock and debris looking for another 60 missing from the mudslide, which struck before dawn Sunday while people were still in their beds.

Matias Mendoza, 26, was at home with his wife Claudia and their year-old son, Franklin, when the earth began moving.

“It was about two in the morning when the rain started coming down harder, and the earth started shaking,” Mendoza recalled. “I warned my wife and grabbed my son, and all of a sudden we heard a sound. The next thing I knew I was lying among parts of the walls of my house.”

“A few minutes later, I found my wife and my son in the middle of the rubble, and, thank God, we’re alive,” said Mendoza, who suffered cuts on his check that emergency workers stitched up.

Almost 7,000 people saw their homes damaged by landslides or cut off by floodwaters following three days of downpours from a low—pressure system indirectly related to Hurricane Ida, which brushed Mexico’s Cancun resort on Sunday before steaming into the Gulf of Mexico.

President Mauricio Funes declared a national emergency and said that he would work with the United Nations to evaluate the extent of the damage.

“The images that we have seen today are of a devastated country,” Funes said. “The damages are for the moment incalculable.”

Some of the worst damage was in the town of Verapaz, where mudslides covered cars and boulders two yards (meters) wide blocked streets.

The rain loosened a flow of mud and rocks that descended from the nearby Chichontepec volcano and buried homes and streets in Verapaz, a town of about 3,000 located 50 kms east of San Salvador, the capital.

“It was terrible. The rocks came down on top of the houses and split them in two, and split the pavement,” recalled Manuel Melendez, 61, who lived a few doors down from Mendoza. Both their homes were destroyed Sunday morning.

“I heard people screaming all around,” Melendez said.

There were 10 confirmed dead and about 60 missing in Verapaz, said Red Cross spokesman Carlos Lopez Mendoza said.

Amid a persistent drizzle, rescuers dug frantically for survivors with shovels and even their bare hands. But the search was made difficult by collapsed walls, boulders and downed power lines that blocked heavy machinery.

“What happened in Verapaz was something terrible,” said Interior Minister Humberto Centeno, who flew over the city Sunday to survey the damage. “It is a real tragedy there.”

At least 13 other people were killed in San Vicente province, where Verapaz is located.

Provincial Gov. Manuel Castellanos said workers were struggling to clear roadways and power and water service had been knocked out, and at least 300 houses were flooded after a river in Verapaz overflowed its banks, Lopez Mendoza said.

In San Salvador, authorities reported 61 dead. Lopez Mendoza said the toll included a family of four — two adults and two children — who were killed when a mudslide buried their home Sunday morning.

The remaining victims were buried by slides or carried away by raging rivers in other parts of the country, Vice Interior Minister Ernesto Zelayandia told The Associated Press.

The days of rain in El Salvador’s mountains were quickly funneled down into populated valleys.

Hurricane Ida’s presence in the western Caribbean may have played a role in drawing a Pacific low—pressure system toward El Salvador, causing the rains, said Dave Roberts, a Navy hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

He added, however, that “if there were deaths associated with this rainfall amount in El Salvador, I would not link it to Ida.”

Monsoon may continue to be vigorous over coastal areas


Vehicles wade through a flooded street in Chennai. According to Met Department, rains may continue to lash TN and Puducherry for the next two days..

 With a low pressure area over Kanyakumari and neighbourhood likely to become more marked, the northeast monsoon, which set in over the State on October 29, will continue to be vigorous over the coastal belt.

A trough from the low pressure area extends to west central Bay of Bengal across the Gulf of Mannar and southwest bay off the coast of Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh, according to a bulletin of the Met department on Saturday.

Thundershowers are likely to occur at most places over the coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and at many places over interior parts of the State on Sunday. Heavy rain at a few places with very heavy to extremely very heavy rains at isolated places is likely to occur over coastal parts of the State and Puducherry on Sunday and Monday.

During the 24-hour-period that ended at 8-30 a.m. on Saturday, the maximum amount of rainfall of 15 cm was recorded at Red Hills on the northern outskirts of the city. Chembarampakkam in the western fringes of the city received 14 cm; Ponneri – 13 cm and Madurantakam, Sholavandan and Cuddalore – 11 cm each.

A 40-year-old person in Alangulam taluk of Tirunelveli district died in the latest spell. A senior official of the Revenue administration here said though the death occurred on Thursday, it was just now reported to the authorities.

In the morning, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi discussed with Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathi and Principal Secretary (Finance) K. Gnanadesikan on the relief work to be carried out. Mr Stalin briefed him of his visit to northern and southern parts of Chennai earlier. Union Minister for Textiles Dayanidhi Maran and Chennai Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni were present.

The Deputy Chief Minister, who visited T. Nagar and Choolai to inspect baling out of rainwater and went to a special medical camp at Ayodhya Kuppam, later told reporters that over the last three years, storm water drains were laid in the city at a cost of Rs. 81.76 crore for nearly 150 km. Silt was removed from the drains over the length of 996 km. As of now, there was no need to relocate people in camps in view of the baling out operations.

‘Deforestation, mining causing fevers’


Diseases also spread by wild animals venturing into human habitations: virologist

‘Dengue, viral fever, chicken guinea, Japanese encephalitis, etc are transmitted by sand fly’

Sand fly is vector of Chandipura virus which is carried by wild animals: M. Radhakrishna

KARIMNAGAR: The extensive mining operations, deforestation and entry of wild animals carrying virus into human habitations were stated to be some of the reasons for the outbreak of dengue and viral fever cases in Karimnagar district.

Quoting instances of outbreak of viral fever in Karimnagar district since 2003, M. Radhakrishna, a faculty member of the Department of Zoology, Kakatiya University, and specialist in virology, said that there was high incidence of viral fever cases in Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts due to the deforestation, mining operations with the opening up of new stone and granite quarries and the subsequent increase of temperature and spread of virus from wild animals following their visits to human habitations.

Talking to The Hindu on Friday, he said that during the outbreak of mysterious fevers in the year 2003, which claimed several hundreds of children in the district, the National Institute of Virology, Pune, had identified it as Chandipura virus. The sand fly (phlebotomus) is its vector, which is abundant in the forests and carried by the wild animals into human habitations, he said.

Mr. Radhakrishna said that the sand fly-transmitted diseases ranged from dengue and viral fevers to chicken guinea, Japanese encephalitis and others. The decline in platelet counts would not confirm it as dengue fever and it could be viral fever also. He suggested that the virus should be first isolated by doing clinical tests.

Specialists’ visit

He suggested that the virologists from the National Institute of Virology should visit the district to track how the disease was caused. He suggested the people to use the insecticidal mosquito nets to protect themselves from mosquito bite and avoid spread of diseases.

Garden city Bangalore? 50,000 trees cut, more to go

Bangalore, Oct 30 (IANS) Garden city could soon become concrete city. Bangalore has lost around 50,000 trees in recent years to infrastructure development and nearly 300 more will soon go for the Metro rail project.


Environmentalists and citizens fear that rampant felling could cost the city its ‘green heritage’ tag. Their fear is supported by heaps of logs of axed trees and tree stumps dotting roads across Bangalore.

 ‘It’s sad to see so many trees being axed down in the name of development. I fell in love with Bangalore because of its green cover, but in recent times, trees are fast vanishing from its landscape,’ septuagenarian Praveen Mehta, a native of Punjab who has been settled here for two decades, told IANS.

 ‘Trees are Bangalore’s famed heritage. Please don’t let them vanish so fast,’ pleaded Mehta, a former government employee.

 As many as 279 more trees will soon be axed down for ‘Namma Metro’ – the upcoming metro rail in central Bangalore, specially near the legislative assembly building Vidhana Soudha and Central College roads.

 In the past two to three years alone, Bangalore has lost around 50,000 trees, felled for for developmental activities, states a report of the Environment Support Group (ESG), a Bangalore-based NGO and part of Hasiru Usiru (Greenery is Life), a conglomeration of community organisations.

 Hasiru Usiru has been at the forefront to protest the ‘illogical destruction’ of Bangalore’s greenery for developmental works.

 ‘Most of the trees dotting the Vidhana Soudha and Central College areas are as old as 150 years. They are our heritage. It takes years for a tree to grow and cutting them in a few hours in the name of development is not logical,’ said Vinay Sreenivasa, coordinator of Hasiru Usiru.

 The group now plans to send a memorandum to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) to shelve its project in areas where they have to cut down a large number of trees.

 ‘If our memorandum is not honoured, then we will start our protest,’ said Sreenivasa.

 ‘It is sad that in spite of so many protests staged by us in the last few months, the government is yet to do anything to save the city’s trees. Bangalore was known for its vast tree cover. Most of the trees felled down in recent times have been part and parcel of Bangalore for over five decades,’ said Sreenivasa.

 According to different environment groups, BMRCL has axed a large number of trees at several places, including the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, considered the city’s green lung.

 According to environmentalists, not only has the city’s green beauty been destroyed due to developmental works, but the loss of green cover is also harming the Karnataka capital’s climate.

 ‘Bangalore’s weather is changing fast. Bangalore is no more pleasant as it was earlier. If trees continue to be chopped off rapidly, the city’s average temperature will rise by two-three degrees Celsius in the coming years,’ said environmentalist Yellappa Reddy.