Disaster in Nagaland
Earthquakes are a real and potential danger to the State of Nagaland. The seven north-eastern states including Nagaland is, considered by seismologists as the sixth major earthquake-prone belt in the world. Earthquakes are a real and potential danger to the State of Nagaland. Nagaland lies in seismic zone V and hence, falls under a very high damage risk zone. The natural tectonic setting makes Nagaland prone to Earthquakes resulting in loss of life and properties. A large number of moderate to large magnitude earthquakes have occurred within the State boundaries as well as within a range of 100 km around it. Altogether twelve major earthquakes have occurred in the region in the last 100 years of which the epicentre of the 1950 Great Earthquake was located only 7km towards north of Mon, a District Headquarter located about 200 km north of the capital town of Kohima. It was the sixth largest earthquake of the 20th Century. The shock lasted 8 minutes causing 1,500 deaths, destruction of 2000 houses and other structures while rendering rail and road connectivity useless. The energy of the earthquake matched that of 100,000 atomic bombs and churned up nearly 10,000 sq miles of earth. One of the most notable earthquakes which had its impact in Nagaland was the Great Shillong Earthquake on 12th June 1897 which measured 8.7 in the Richter scale that left over 1,600 people dead.
Landslide is a major disaster that keeps affecting Nagaland especially in Monsoon, when heavy down pour is experienced all over Nagaland.
Much of the state is very hilly comprising of steep slopes and high relief. Nagaland is predominantly made up of shale‘s and sandstones in various combinations. Most of the rocks, particularly the shale‘s are sheared, fractured, crumpled, and weathered to various extents. They are normally saturated with water which leads to the building up of high pore-water pressure thereby causing the loss of shearing strength and collapse of the soil structure. Repeated thrusting and faulting have further weakened the rocks. Such sandstone areas are known for rock falls and debris slides. It is a fact that properties worth lakhs and crores of rupees have been carried away by these Landslides.
Some of the major Landslide Disasters that Nagaland has faced are - in August 2001 Dimapur area experienced a cloud burst which lasted almost for one hour. This gave rise to so many landslides in that area, particularly the Paglapahar region which experienced the heavy down pour. In a stretch of just 4 kms on National Highway 39, seven major slides occurred which brought traffic to a standstill. In this incident 1 Tata Sumo was crushed where 3 people were killed and some injured.
The most tragic landslide that affected Nagaland in the past was the May 26th 2005 Landslide that occurred in Mokokchung town. In this pre dawn landslide, 14 people were buried alive, so many more injured and damage to property was extensive.
On October 17, 2007- about 150 metres of National Highway 39 near Kiruphema went down almost 400 metres. This resulted in the complete blockade of the highway for 2 days.
During July 2018, major road life lines were cut-off by massive landslides in Kohima when NH-29, also connecting Manipur was cut off putting the survival of the two states at stake. A school in Kohima was also affected by massive sinking of land which led to the evacuation and shifting of the primary campus located 2 km away. Incessant rains have also triggered massive landslides at Pezielietsie Colony in Kohima damaging at least 42 houses and affecting more than 40 families.
Sanuoru-Secretariat road on 30th July 2018 was affected when half of the black topped road just below the working women hostel sank some 3ft down. The hostel evacuated and relocated to another hostel. Siekhazou-BSF Camp was also completely cut off on 30th July 2018 where 1 church and 5 houses were damaged by landslide and 4 houses evacuated.
On July 2018, road was cut off at Sidzu river in the district of Phek due to major landslide upstream which formed artificial dam and disrupted the downstream including roads and paddy fields because of uncontrolled release of water from the artificial dam. Major landslides have also occurred on Chozuba to Kohima via Khusoh, about 13 km from Chozuba town which have totally cut off the road.
The NH-39 is snapped by a deep and wide landslide at the KMC dumping area. The once sinking zone has now become a valley, stretching from above the road to the river below in a stretch of about a kilometre. The NH-39, afflicted with numerous other landslides, is only a sample. There are reports that almost all the roads connecting the different areas of Nagaland are under peril.
- Flood affects all the low lying areas of Nagaland bordering Assam. In the year 2005, the Township of Tuli and the adjoining areas were very badly affected by flood. This left the area marooned for many days.
The different colonies of Dimapur Town remained submerged during 11th - 24th September 2008. This includes Dobhinalla, Super market, Nagarjan, Burma Camp, Walford, Sachu Colony, Nagagaon, Khermahal, Netaji Colony, Naharbari and Airport Areas. Examinations that were going on during this time were badly affected.
Due to the incessant rain which recorded from 1st to 3rd August 2018 (492 mm rainfall) floods was caused in parts of Dimapur which disrupted normal activities. The flood also caused a casualty in Dimapur (1 dead) at Netaji colony. Heavy Rains eroded the soil which destroyed properties and houses. In the midst of these natural calamities, a fire broke out at a city kart shop near Dhobinala around 9pm on 1st August due to the circuit caused by the flood. The cultivated areas in parts of Dimapur have also been destroyed. Many roads within the city of Dimapur and the surrounding areas in the district were severely damaged.
- Fire disaster is the most common disaster in Nagaland. During the Indo-Naga conflict, many villages were razed to the ground.
On the 23rd of April 2008 the biggest fire disaster in memory affected Nagarjan Colony in Dimapur. Two precious lives were lost, while 310 houses were burned to ashes. Property worth more than 1 crore was burned to ashes.
On Jan 29th 2008, 100 houses along with 8 garages were burned to ashes in Golaghat Road. Property worth 1crore was charred down.
On the 28th April 2009- 30 houses were burned in K. Sachu Colony, Ward 14 Dimapur. Many families were rendered homeless and property worth Rs.31,00,000 burned.
On the 6th Feb 2009 52 houses were razed by fire in Naharbari Colony. Property worth 20 lakhs was burned.
During 2nd April 2019, fire broke out in Selouphe colony, Dimapur and two children lives were lost. On the night of 27th May 2019, around 15 houses were completely razed in a fire in Kuda village, Dimapur. As per Fire & Emergency Services personnel, the fire started at around 10:00 pm at Kuda B Khel destroying a row of houses before it was brought under control.While there was no report of any human casualty, property estimated to be around Rs. 5 lakhs was destroyed. Residents of the locality said that the families affected by the fire could not save or retrieve any personal belongings, including school books of their children.
- Windstorm/Hailstorm/Heavy Rainfall
- Windstorm/Hailstorm is a major disaster that keeps affecting Nagaland especially during the monsoon. A total of 3759 houses were damaged during the year 2016 that ravaged different parts of Nagaland. In Mokokchung district, hailstorm/windstorm incidents caused damages to 1,382 houses of which 283 kutcha houses were completely damaged, 280 kutcha houses severely damaged, and 746 kutcha houses were partially damaged. In Longleng district, hailstorm incidents affected 34 villages from five circles namely, Yachem, Sakshi, Yongnyah Sadar and Longleng. The devastation left 342 partially damaged houses, 245 severely damaged houses and 56 fully damaged houses. In Wokha district, 449 houses were damaged by incidents of hailstorm/windstorm. Damages were also caused to infrastructure and plantations. In Kohima, heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds damaged six houses in Chiechema and Phezha under Kohima district besides damaging electrical post, power lines, uprooting trees along the NH-2 and even the roof top of two houses were also blown away.
- It has been passed down by our ancestors that droughts have occurred in Nagaland in the past. However there are no documents and records to prove them. 2009 is the first year that Nagaland is facing a drought like situation in 3 districts of the state namely Peren, Dimapur and Mon. Jalukie valley in Peren District, which is called the ‘Rice bowl of Nagaland’ has been very badly affected by drought this year. Huge areas of paddy cultivable land have been left because of shortage of water.