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Nepal earthquake may have weakened moraine dams, say scientists

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Moraine dammed lakes may also have weakened during the devastating earthquake that shook Nepal on April 25. The scientists today said that the weakening of lakes could result in floods in future.

“The threat of further landslides and glacier lake outbursts may increase as snow begins to melt and the monsoon kicks in,” Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) said in a statement.

The institute is monitoring the recent topographical changes by analyzing the latest satellite images and communicating the findings to the Nepalese government and relief agencies. Some slopes may have been washed away by the earthquake, which could lead to other landslides. “There is an urgent need to assess the impact of landslides for immediate rescue efforts and monitor potential hazards in the future,” ICIMOD said.

Immediately after the disaster, ICIMOD formed a team to analyze the updated satellite images that have been provided from space agencies around the globe. They also set up a webpage to provide latest images, data and information about the recent situation in Nepal.

The team also set up an office near the airport to provide live weather forecasts to the passengers and airport authorities. They provide Google Earth 3D images to help pilots to locate unfamiliar terrain and appropriate landing spots.

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Seven Best Places To Visit In October In India

Seven destinations you cannot miss this Autumn.

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Best places to visit in October
India

Autumn is one of the most pleasant seasons. With the atmosphere being a little breezy and trees shedding their leaves, the view around you is picturesque. And, it would be really boring if you miss out on a vacation in this wonderful weather. After all, we must never pull ourselves away from packing our bags and go on vacations to interesting places. Below are seven best places to visit in October in India:

7 Best Places To Visit In October In India:

  1. Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
Best holiday destinations in October
Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh

The sunrise in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh is one of the most beautiful in India. The weather in this destination at this time is just how you want it to be. It is the only hill station of Madhya Pradesh, and indeed one of the most popular in India. From Parasailing activities to site seeing, you can do a lot in this lovely place! This definitely needs to be added to your bucket list.

2. Kutch, Gujarat

Best places to visit in October
Common Crane bird at Kutch

Indeed one of the most beautiful and tempting places to visit in the month of October is Kutch. The white sand will have a cool and pleasant temperature. The place is full of nature and its beautiful creations. From deserts, oasis and architecture, to wildlife and delicious food, this place is heaven on Earth. The place’s heritage and beauty make it one of the best places to visit in October.

3. Hampi, Karnataka

Best places to visit in October
Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi once was known for its magnificent architectural beauty. Much of it has now been ruined and vandalized. The city still, remains to be a quick and joyful getaway for this pleasant season. Especially if you live in Bengaluru, you should not be giving this thought a second consideration.

Also Read: Taj Lake Palace: Floating Palace in Udaipur is the Ultimate Destination for a Romantic Break 

4. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Best places to visit in October
Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Divine has to be the perfect word to describe the beauty of this place. The beauty of Ganges along with the serene view of the mountains, there is nothing more which one wants in their vacation. Living in Rishikesh would be living in peace. If your friends have tagged along with you, then Rishikesh can be an adventurous trip as well. Activities like river rafting, trekking and boating are popular in this area.

5. Darjeeling, West Bengal

best places to visit in october
Darjeeling, West Bengal

Darjeeling in West Bengal is called the ‘Queen of hills’, and with October being the ideal season for enjoying the beauty of Hills, we should rename it to ‘Queen of October’.  Colonial architecture, hills, rock gardens, shopping complexes and Monasteries- these places make Darjeeling an all-in-one tourist destination.

6. Nainital, Uttarakhand

Best places to visit in October
Nainital, Uttarakhand

One of the best hill stations of India, and indeed one of the best places to visit in October. Nainital’s weather, trees, farms, lakes, mountains and temples are completely breathtaking. Eating a plate of Maggi along with your family in this lovely tourist destination will make your trip more memorable.

7. Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Best places to visit in October
Jodhpur. Rajasthan

Rajasthan is India’s most beautiful state, and Jodhpur is the most beautiful city. Lakes, temples, palaces and every mark of royalty, is visible in this state. The city’s beauty, culture and heritage attract a lot of tourists every year and in every season, and hence makes it one of the best places to visit in October. So why should one miss the chance to spend his/her beautiful October away from Jodhpur?

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Ancient Hindu Temple Changu Narayan in Nepal Possesses Historical Significance

Changu Narayan is a sacred Hindu temple in Nepal and was built in the memory of Lord Vishnu

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Changu Narayan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in Nepal. Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Changu Narayan is considered to be the oldest temple in Nepal
  • It is based on a high hilltop know was Changu or Dolagiri
  • It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has an interesting tale behind it

New Delhi, July 14, 2017: The ancient Hindu temple Changu Narayan is situated on the top of a high hill well known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple had a neighboring forest of champak tree and a small village called Changu and is situated in Bhaktapur District, Nepal.

The hill is about 7 miles or 12 km east of Kathmandu and a few miles north of Bhaktapur. This holy place “changu narayan Temple” is devoted to Lord Vishnu and held in admiration by the people of Hindu religion. Changu Narayan is believed to be the oldest temple in Nepal’s history. Bhaktapur king established kingdoms in Kashmir and kept it as Hindu kingdom.

ALSO READ: Hindu Temple Kamakhya questions the Dominant Religious Legacies against Menstrual Blood

“changu narayan Temple” has a very intriguing story behind its existence. In old times, a Gwala, a cow herder, was given a cow by a Brahmin whose name was Sudarshan. The cow was believed to produce milk in large quantities. The cow herder used to take the cow for grazing to Change, which was a Champak trees forest that time. The cow was always found under a particular tree’s shade while grazing. In the evening, when the Gwala started milking the cow at his house, he received only a negligible quantity of milk. This continued for a number of days. He was disappointed and told the Brahmin about the cow not giving enough quantity of milk. After seeing this incident with his eyes, Sudarshan agreed and they decided that they should examine the cow while her grazing activity was being undertaken.

Changu Narayan Temple, east side, with the griffin (stone sculpture) left at the entrance. Source: Wikimedia

Both of them hid behind the trees and observed the cow. They noticed that a small black boy who had come out of the tree started feeding himself with the milk. This infuriated the two men as they thought of the boy as a demon and the tree as its home.

So the champak tree was cut down by the Brahmin. While he was doing this, he saw human blood come out of the champak tree. Both Brahmin and Gwala presumed they had done a crime and started crying.

Lord Vishnu suddenly emerged and told the Gwala and Brahmin, the mistake was not theirs and began narrating the story of him committing a crime by unknowingly murdering Sudarshan’s father while forest hunting. Afterward, he was cursed and he wandered on his mouth, as ‘Garuda’ descending on the Changu hill where he survived on stolen milk. The cutting down of the tree by Brahmin beheaded Vishnu and freed him from his sins.

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Following this incident, Brahmin and Gwala started worshiping that place and built a small temple of Lord Vishnu. That place has been considered sacred ever since. Even today, Sudarshan’s descendant is one of the priest of that temple and the Gwala’s descendants as conservators.

People belonging to Newar community reside in and around the area of Changu Narayan. Due to tourism development in this area, we can locate many hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants etc.

However, this holy temple “changu narayan” faces a lot of challenges and threats. The Manohara stream has witnessed rampant mining of sand and stones. The local administration has failed to cut down the mining activities. Due to these mining activities, the temple area has become prone to landslides. Because of overgrazing in the nearby forest, the chances of soil erosion and landslide have become very high.

– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025

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UNICEF Calls for Action : 16 Million Children Continue to Suffer as Floods in South Asia Claim More than 1,300 Lives

According to data released by UNICEF, the unusually heavy monsoon over the last several weeks has claimed more than 1,300 lives across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

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floods in south asia
India army soldiers carry children rescued from flood affected villages near Thara in Banaskantha district, Gujarat, India (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki) (VOA)
  • Floods in India, Nepal and Bangladesh have claimed more than 1,300 lives in the last two months
  • According to UNICEF, over 16 million children in the three countries are in urgent need of life-saving support
  • Persistent rainfall has damaged school infrastructure, apart from depriving children of safe places to stay at, and necessities like drinking water and food

New Delhi, September 4, 2017 : Hurricane Harvey created havoc in Houston in August, claiming 15 lives and displacing tens of thousands of people. The event was largely covered by national and international media alike, keeping people abreast with the latest updates. However, the floods in South Asia, which are equally devastating, are yet to receive due coverage from international media. According to data released by UNICEF, the unusually heavy monsoon over the last several weeks has claimed more than 1,300 lives across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

In its entirety, over 45 million people have suffered the direct impact of the rains and its resulting floods.

Floods in South Asia

For over two months, incessant rains have submerged numerous villages thereby forcing vast numbers of people into evacuation centers and relief camps.

According to a UN Agency report, over 16 million children residing in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh are in dire need of life-saving support due to weeks of torrential monsoons that have given rise to ‘catastrophic’ floods in the three South Asian countries.

UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, Jean Gough noted that millions of children have already been affected by these devastating floods as incessant rains continue to pose potential threat.  “Children have lost their homes, schools, and even friends and loved ones. There is a danger the worst could still be to come as rains continue and flood waters move south,” she added, according to a report by PTI.

According to official figures, at least 1,288 deaths have been reported since mid-August.

Gough believes the persistent rainfall and the resulting water accumulation have damaged school infrastructure among other things which will hamper children from attending classes for weeks, or even months. According to her, “Getting children back into school is absolutely critical in establishing a sense of stability for children during times of crisis and provides a sense of normality when everything else is being turned upside down”

Among other urgent needs of these children are clean drinking water, sufficient food supplies, hygiene supplies to control and combat the spread of potential diseases and safe evacuation places for the children to stay at, study and play.

ALSO READ Thousands displaced in Myanmar due to floods

Devastation from floods in India

According to a report by PTI, in the northern part of the country, over 31 million people have been affected in four states due to the extensive flooding. Out of this, 12.33 million sufferers are believed to be children.

The tally of houses damaged by the floods has reached 805,183 while 15,455 schools have been damaged, that has disrupted the education of children.

Additionally, the heavy downpour in Mumbai has already claimed five deaths due to drowning while twelve people, including two children have died due to the collapse of a building.

ALSO READ Why do buildings collapse?

Rescue operations are being undertaken in these states by their respective state governments, which include carrying out relief, recovery and rehabilitation operations.

Furthermore, the state governments have also sought multi-sectoral planning and coordination support from UNICEF in the three worst affected states. These include Bihar, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.

Devastation from floods in Bangladesh

According to Oxfam, with the rising water levels, the flooding is believed to be the worst since 1988 with nearly two-thirds of the country currently submerged under water.

More than 8 million people are reported to have been hit by the floods in Bangladesh, out of which 3 million are allegedly children. Primary and community educational institutions across the country have been terribly hit with as many as 2,292 schools reportedly damaged by the high water.

The country has also reported over 13,035 cases of water-borne diseases.

Devastation from floods in Nepal

Floods in Nepal have displaced 352,738 people from their homes, thus, affecting over 1.7 million people. The water has reportedly surfaced to dangerous levels, to escape which people are making use of makeshift rafts and elephants for rescue operations.

According to a report by PTI, damage to nearly 1,958 schools has affected the education of over 253,605 children.

Major media giants across the world are pledging their support to help combat the scale of  destruction.

In a blog post, Google Vice-President of South East Asia and India wrote, “We are committing $1 million from Google.org and Google employees to Goonj and Save the Children for their relief efforts.”

The NGO, Goonj aims to offer assistance to over 75,000 affected families across India and provide them with basic needs like food, blankets and hygiene supply while on the other hand, Save the Children is focused on setting up child-friendly public spaces for the children to have access to educational material.

Similar organizations have taken up an active role to help rebuild infrastructure for the community like roads, bridges and physical infrastructures.

What causes floods in South Asia?

Apart from the high magnitude of rainfall received this year, the floods in south Asia are believed to have been aggravated by human actions such as reckless construction on floodplains and in the coastal areas, waterways clogged by garbage and a faulty drainage system

According to a report published by VOA, experts have pointed out the inefficiency of the governments of the three countries and have said that is has become increasingly evident that the South Asian governments were unprepared for the annual monsoon showers.

However, disaster management officials also assert that it will be unfair to criticize the governments in view of the magnitude of the floods this year.


 

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