Never before had the residents of Chimney ever witnessed what the mother Nature had to present its inhabitants on the 26th of may,2009.
Chimney, a historical place located on the top hill of Kurseong Division was one among the many affected by the havoc of nature’s fury during cyclone AILA. The place which was once considered by the British Colonial raj as a perfect resting place when one traveled on a horse is today in a state of anguish and disrepair.
People who had been primarily surviving on farming and cattle are now left with just hope and prayer. Ram Syangden, a farmer who had been sustaining his family five family members grieved “I had been looking after my family by means of dairy production but now with the death of five cows among seven, now I am not able to see what lies ahead ”.
Chimney, a place mainly comprising of old wooden houses, with few concrete buildings was badly hit by the strong winds and rain. Mr.Rudhra Tamang,an ex-army person had something unusual to share “ I was in my house praying hard for the intense rain to stop when I heard a deafening sound outside. I rushed towards the window to see the tin roof of the neighbor’s house being blown away and it flew towards the wooden electric post cutting down the wires. I tried to call for help in order to get the people of that house to safety but could not be heard due to the noise of the storm.”
Many people who have met a similar fate and are “climate refugees” in
The Block Development Office, has issued plastic sheets to them to cover areas where there is high possibilities of landslide but the people seem discontent and helpless as this alone will not help.
Binita, said “this aid provided to us is not enough as you can see. Our entire roof has been blown off which makes the situation much more vulnerable if it rains again"
- photos and report by Mikma Tsering Lepcha
My thanks to him for the article and photographs