Oct 29, 2013

No Gold found at the excavation site in Eastern UP in India

The treasure hunt that began 12 days ago at Unnao, in Eastern Uttar Pradesh in India had yielded nothing contrary to predictions by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) who accordingly followed the calculations of Geological Survey of India(GSI) that some non magnetic material is buried at the site.

Adding to the speculation and predictions, a local priest too claimed to have saw a dream of 1000 tonnes of gold being buried at the site. But after 11 days of excavations and digging at the site, the ASI has found nothing of significance at the site.

Media frenzy followed the news of excavation procedures taken up by the ASI for retrieval of ' 1000 tonnes of gold' according to Sadhu's dream.

Now since the ASI has decided to call off the operations, questions are being asked, what have led to the procedures to start the digging at site in the first place.

ASI now has no one but to ask itself after the euphoria it helped created in the first place.


Oct 18, 2013

Treasure hunt at a fort site in India results in media spotlight

There is lot of media coverage at the fort site of Raja Rao Ram Bux in this remote village of India, Unnao in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. 

Sandwiched between Kanpur in south and Lucknow in the north, this sleepy village suddenly started making headlines in the media.

The reason behind this spectacle is a dream by a Sadhu (Priest) of a local temple in Unnao. It is reported that Sadhu has dreamed a while ago that there is treasure hidden in a fort and made subsequent pleas with the Goverment to excavate it. 

After his representation, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Geological Survey of India (GSI) made their observations and decided to excavate the area. 

This has resulted in a frenzied activity in this small village, with huge media presence. 

Also people from surrounding towns and villages have arrived to watch the spectacle.

The site is a fort of a 19th century king Raja Rao Ram Bux who is said to have been martyred in 1857 revolt against the British colonial rule.

A public interest litigation has also been filed in the Supreme Court of India, where petitioner requests for the supervision of the court authorities to safe guard if any hidden treasure is found. 

And the matter has been listed for hearing pending some changes in the original application according to reports.


Oct 12, 2013

Discrepancies in actual measurements of very severe Cyclonic storm Phailin

Phailin makes landfall approximately around 7.30 Pm Indian Standard Time (IST) according to some International satellite estimates, and it was also reported in some section of the local Indian media that landfall did took place at the time, but was unconfirmed by IMD.

Also, the location of the landfall reported was also subject to differences. 

Firstly, it was reported in the media that the landfall took place in Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. But those reports were not confirmed by IMD.

And later on IMD officially announced that the landfall took place around 8 Pm IST and in Gopalpur, Odisha.

But there were also differences in reporting the wind speed of the Cyclone Phailin, with Joint Typhoon Warning Center rating it as a category 4 with wind speeds approximately 140 mph approximately 225 km/hr.

But the IMD satellite readings were 25 Km/hr different.

Based on IMD's calculations, the wind speed recorded was 200 km/hr with wind gusts upto 225 Km/hr.

Why was there such a difference in calculations between JTWC and IMD?

This difference in calculation could be found at this blog update by Dr Jeff from Wunderground.

Measurements always carry an element of error but that is negligible, but differences in important measurement data that does matter, need to be studied and rectified.

Satellite estimates confirming the timing of landfall can be found at this status update  i.e., the storm actually made the landfall at 7.30 Pm IST. 

Satellite pictures of NOAA confirms this fact at this link qz.com.

Now, if you have gone through the blog page of Dr Jeff Masters from Wunderground, it is understandable that methods used to determine the measurements in tracking the wind speed of the cyclone vary between JTWC and IMD.

It is mentioned in the report by Dr Jeff that the Indian system takes average of the readings calculated at a duration interval of every 3 minutes that would lessen the actual readings by almost by 2%.

And JTWC's calculation are based on per minute duration of time. 

Since both the methods of measurement depend on satellite imagery and data, it is hard to say which one is more correct.

In my personal view, this would give a more clear and precise picture of what is actually happening with a weather system of such a magnitude and power.

Update : 

Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh remains unaffected by the Cyclone Phailin.

Srikakulam is out of Power. No casualties reported from Andhra Pradesh so far.

The  path of Cyclone Phailin has now veered north towards Gangetic Plains with reported wind speeds of 100 km/hr.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall reported all along the Odisha coast.

Phailin's intensity found to be of level 6 according to IMD updates.

Gopalpur in Odisha bearing the brunt with electricity poles and trees uprooted. 

Cyclone Phailin has affected communication towers and power supply in Odisha.

20 sailors are reported to be stranded off AP coast.  

Reports of MV Bingo and other unknown vessel sinking due to bad weather, resecue and relief efforts could not be carried yet.

MV Bingo was carrying a crew of 10 Chinese sailors and an Indonesian.

Update :Oct 15

17 Chinese crew and a Myanmarese national caught in the rough waters are reported to be found by rescue mission off the coast of Odisha district. 

The crew embarked on the life boat when their ship carrying Iron ore to China, began sinking.

The crew reportedly survived rough seas for almost 36 hours. And were able to contact Chinese authorities through a single mobile phone left with them.

After being contacted, the Indian authorities launched a search mission tracking their GPRS signal and rescued them from the sea.  

18 sailors of MV Bingo rescued from the sea: Indian Express 


Oct 10, 2013

Cyclone Phailin is expected to turn into a Super Cyclone

Cyclone Phailin has turned into a severe cyclone, and is heading towards the east coast of India between the north coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Expected landfall is around Brahmapur in Odisha district on saturday evening on October 12.

As it moves ahead, it is intensifying into a very severe Cyclonic storm or a Super Cyclone.

According to this report of the Meteorological department of India(IMD), the intensity of the cyclone 175Kmph-185Kmph predicted by IMD is way too low according to Meteorologist Eric Holthaus of Quartz, qz.com.  

Indian Meteorology Department(IMD) classifies winds packing 210-220 Kmph gusting upto 235 Kmph as a very severe cyclonic storm.

 I think, the authorities should re examine the readings taken from it's sources, regarding the intensity and the impact, with which it will strike the East Coast of India.

There are conflicting reports from other satellite based monitoring agencies including private weather forecasters regarding the intensity of this weather system.

Another report published by NDTV predicted by IMD as not to be a super cyclone ,hopefully this is correct, but the authorities should make precise measurements of the severe cyclone, which is intensifying as it moves ahead towards the coastal districts of India.

The forecast made is that the landfall could be near Brahmapur in Odisha.

Latest Update: 

Oct 11, Friday.

According to some media reports severe Cyclone Phailin, has now been upgraded to Super Cylcone. 

215 kmph wind speeds have been recorded by the IMD which earlier made a forecast, that it would not turn into a super Cyclone, but unfortunately it has now.

Update 2:

This report by India today compares  Cyclone Phailin, with the one that struck Odisha in 1999 and caused widespread damage to life and property. 

Update 3:

Cyclone Phailin has now officially reached category 5 status hurricane,  same strength or more worse than Hurricane Katrina. 

You can follow tweets from Eric Holthaus, on Twitter.


Oct 7, 2013

Southern state of India turns into a political hot potato resulting in Power cuts

 The South central Indian region continues to be on the boil over the bifurcation of the Andhra Pradesh state into two new parts namely Telangana and Seema Andhra by the Government of India. 

The four year old Telangana agitation resulted in Indian Government led by Congress party in New Delhi announcing separate Telangana state on July 30, 2013.

The contentious issue is now of the city of Hyderabad formerly known as Hyderabad Deccan. 

It is planned,  that the city of Hyderabad which was the capital of Andhra Pradesh state, will now be the joint capital of both newly formed Telangana and Seema Andhra regions for a period of 10 years. 

During this period, a new capital is to be developed for Seema Andhra region.

Hyderabad state which was established by Quli Qutb Shah rules in 16th Century, is a regional Information Technology hub and a popular tourist destination. 

Known for it's distinct tourism attractions like Charminar and Mecca Masjid. 

The city is popular for it's rich cuisine. 

In the recent decades the city attracted major investments both foreign and domestic sector in the Information Technology sector, particularly after India's liberalisation policy inviting foreign investments.

The political landscape of the city changed quickly with International Heritage city of Hyderabad developing into an IT magnate in the 90's, and broke onto the International Scene. All the major IT companies including Microsoft and Google have regional presence in South Asia.

With city's growing stature internationally, the domestic political landscape quickly changed. 

The historic ethnic differences of the people of the region resulted in divisive politics resulting in this situation. 

With Telangana region visibly remained backward since the formation of state in 1956. 

People of the Andhra region which were formerly under British colonial rule were able to lead educational as well as Agriculture development of the region while investing in the city of Hyderabad simultaneously.

This resulted in biased Seema Andhra Politics being played in the state capital. 

Telangana remained backward all during this period with hardly any development and without any political space to manouvre. 

Comparatively Andhra region prospered, this resulted in the situation now escalating into a free for all. 

Major strikes by employees of Seema Andhra region has now resulted in complete failure of administration in the region. 

Several trains passing through the region are cancelled due to the power failure due to shutting down of Power stations. 

This cascading effect also resulted in power cuts in the city of Hyderabad.