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| Last Updated:16/07/2018

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Ukhrul district experience a series of climate change impact

 Source: The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, January 21 2018: Ukhrul district experienced a series of unprecedented climate change from the beginning of the early part of twentieth century. The rise in temperature, change in rainfall pattern, wind speed and parched water sources affected many natural land formations and cycles in the district. Ukhrul district was once covered in dense forest, best known for its flora and fauna and was home to many wild species, but the rapid degradation of the forest land has threatened the lives of many wild species. The people of the district hardly realize the importance of forest and the importance of maintaining the hydrological cycles and the ecological balance. Owing to the uncontrolled felling of trees and continuous exploration of forest for economic growth since the last decade, the rich forest lands have been transformed into an open forest within a short period of time. The geographical land of Ukhrul district is 4554 square kilometres, out of which 3549 square kilometres (78.10 percent) is forest land. Extensive deforestation for timber and firewood, jhum farming, forest fire and construction of roadways to connect interior villages have gradually destroyed the dense forest area. As per the report of State Forest Department, only 181 square kilometres of forest is now left unexplored and covered with dense forest and is located at extreme areas and hence unaccessible by roads. The district has witnessed unprecedented series of climate change since 2013 . Last year, Cyclone Mora hit Ukhrul resulting in heavy losses and devastation to the land. According to a report from an expert, Cyclone Mora accompanied with heavy rain as well as the alarming wind speed led to massive landslide at Shirui mountain. Similarly, in the wake of the incessant rainfall across the State on May 2017, a sizeable portion of land at Sirarakhong village sunk, damaging eight houses which were built on the side of the newly constructed playground. In 2015, cracks developed at Kasom Khullen due to erosion of hill slope and excessive rainfall, remarked Prof Arunkumar of MU Earth Sciences Department. As per the information from the expert, the eastern and western parts of Ukhrul district are located at high seismic zone. Experts have opined that heavy rainfall and earthquake are one of the main reasons which led to the huge landslides, cracks and sinking of roads which were witnessed at different parts of Kasom Khullen, Kamjong and Ukhrul during the monsoon season of 2015 . Incidentally, Ukhrul has experienced a previous record of mud volcano in October 2013, at the hill range of Tusom village (Indo-Myanmar Border), under Jessami sub-division of Ukhrul district. Until the people of the district cultivate the good habit to preserve forest or regenerate the district forest land, it is likely more severe natural calamities in coming years.