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Kosi basin to receive flood warnings

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New Delhi: Kosi Basin is a disaster prone area with recurring floods which on annual basis destroys the livelihood of millions of people inhabiting that area. But the data to anticipate the life taking floods is usually not available.

However, an information system to tackle the threat has now been set up by a Kathmandu-based international organisation dedicated to environmentally-sound mountain development strategies.

“We have created a platform known as the Kosi Basin Information System (KBIS) that integrates data on climate change, land use, sedimentation, and water-based livelihoods to help individuals understand the changes happening in the basin,” Shahriar Wahid, Project Coordinator for the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

The 48-hour flood warning will be provided by the platform using the data collected from satellite technology and national weather agencies, he added.

A warning for a regional flood was issued for the first time the last monsoon by the Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology.

India, China and Nepal together had been consistently working for past two years to be able to generate knowledge and information which will help communities in the basin prepare for disasters.

“The data and information are used by several institutions in India, Nepal and China for collaborative and development-oriented research on water, food, energy and environment in the basin,” Mr Wahid said.

He also added, the aim of KBIS focuses on facilitating data and information-sharing and promoting inter-disciplinary collaboration between different water stakeholders such as technical professional s,researchers and common people.

The Kosi River is commonly known as “Sorrow of Bihar” because of the annual floods affecting a large area of fertile agricultural lands. Due to the monsoon rains and glacial melting, water increases to as much as 18 times the average leading to a flood.

Floods have badly affected the livelihood of people in Bihar. They annually suffer loss of life, property, infrastructure and agriculture.

The 2008 flood was a disastrous one in the history of Bihar when the river changed the course and flooded the areas which remained unaffected since decades.

Nearly 3 million people were displaced from their homes while many were killed during the unfortunate disaster.

The 2013 Bihar flood was yet another miserable time when 3,768 villages in 20 districts were affected.

Kosi is one of the most sediment-laden rivers in the world, making it highly prone to flooding.(IANS)

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400-year-old Ship Wreckage Filled With Indian Spices Found in Portugal

The wreck was found as part of a 10-year-old archaeological project backed by the municipal council of Cascais, the navy, the Portuguese government and Nova University of Lisbon.

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A divers takes photos of some of the items found after the discovery of a centuries-old shipwreck, in Cascais, Portugal. VOA

Archaeologists searching Portugal’s coast have found a 400-year-old shipwreck believed to have sunk near Lisbon after returning from India laden with spices, specialists said on Monday.

“From a heritage perspective, this is the discovery of the decade,” project director Jorge Freire said. “In Portugal, this is the most important find of all time.”

In and around the shipwreck, 40 feet (12 meters) below the surface, divers found spices, nine bronze cannons engraved with the Portuguese coat of arms, Chinese ceramics and cowry shells, a type of currency used to trade slaves during the colonial era.

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One of the nine nine bronze cannons engraved with the Portuguese coat of arms found by divers around a shipwreck near Cascais, Portugal. VOA

Found on Sept. 3 off the coast of Cascais, a resort town on the outskirts of Lisbon, the shipwreck and its objects were “very well-preserved,” said Freire.

Freire and his team believe the ship was wrecked between 1575 and 1625, when Portugal’s spice trade with India was at its peak.

In 1994, Portuguese ship Our Lady of the Martyrs was discovered near Fort of Sao Juliao da Barra, a military defense complex near Cascais.

“For a long time, specialists have considered the mouth of the Tagus river a hotspot for shipwrecks,” said Minister of Culture Luis Mendes. “This discovery came to prove it.”

Also Read: Gene Therapy Wins Big At Portugal’s Champalimaud Foundation

The wreck was found as part of a 10-year-old archaeological project backed by the municipal council of Cascais, the navy, the Portuguese government and Nova University of Lisbon. (VOA)

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