Post-disaster Solidarity

The entire country has now sunk in grief following the devastation of villages in Bara and Parsa districts in central Terai. A windstorm, caused by funnel cloud, killed more than 27 people and injured over 400. It left a trail of death and destruction, prompting the federal and provincial governments to spring into action for the timely rescue operation and distribution of relief materials in the affected areas. The people from the different walks of life have demonstrated solidarity to address the plight of the storm victims. In a moment of crisis, different political parties, social and business organisations, charity groups and the local community have lent their helping hand to provide medical treatment to the injured and relief to the families torn apart by the killing tempest. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli reached the storm-hit places and met with the injured in the hospital. The government has dealt with the national tragedy with care and responsibility. It decided to bear all expenses of treatment of the injured. In a similar move, the State-2 government decided to provide Rs. 300,000 to each family that lost their members in the disaster. The State-3 government also announced Rs. 10 million to the storm victims. Many Good Samaritans are coming up to donate to the victims, a sign that show Nepalis are united when there is calamity in the country. However, efforts need to be doubled to provide tarpaulins, foods, medicines, construction materials and other basic facilities to the victims. As media reports go by, a large number of victims have been left high and dry. Some of them spent night under the open sky. It is imperative that both federal and State-2 governments should join hands to launch residence programme for the affected population so that they are not left out in the cold. The concerned authorities should see to it that there are not irregularities in the distribution of the relief materials.

According to the news report, the windstorms that lashed the villages in Bara and Parsa were strongest ones that the country has ever experienced. It was a cone-shaped cloud that moved at a speed of 90 kilometres per hour. Experts note that funnel cloud is generally considered as a small part of a cumulonimbus or towering cumulus cloud that normally does not reach the ground or a water surface but when it touches the ground, it becomes a tornado and hit the people and structures to the hilt. It was so uncommon and strange squall that even the meteorologists were clueless about its symptoms till the last moment. One meteorologist working at the Simara-based airport in Bara said that there was no any sign of would-be windstorm as of 6:30 pm on Sunday. The speedy whirlwind hit the specific areas at 8:30 pm. This calls for putting skilled human resources and technology to detect the possible natural disasters. Reports are that Nepal is going to install its own satellites in outer space by August this year. It is said that it was difficult to trace this type of storm but it is wise to put necessary technology at our disposal. Let’s hope that Nepal will have its advanced satellite in the orbit so that it supplies important information about weather in time, which will enable to take measures to save life and property on the ground. 

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