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Heavy snow hits Nagaland again

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Feb 22, 2022 1:49 am
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Some see it as sign of an impending challenging future

Seyochung covered in snow on Monday (John Z Sumi)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Feb. 21 (EMN): People in several parts of Nagaland woke up to unusual beautiful surroundings covered by a blanket of white snow on Monday morning, as fresh snowfall hit at least four districts in the state- the second time this winter in some places and more in other areas.

While the unusual sight attracted both the locals and people from other places, some have expressed concern over the impact climate change could have on the ecosystem.    

Places like Pfütsero in Phek district, Aghunato and Satoi in Zunheboto, Seyochung in Kiphire, parts of Southern and Western Angami in Kohima district and Dzükou valley witnessed snowfall and chilly weather on Monday.

Many excited citizens had taken to social media to share pictures and video clips of their experience with snowfall (some for the first time).

Assistant Professor Neiko Ritse, Department of Economics, Pfütsero Government College, told Eastern Mirror that he experienced such amount of snowfall in the town area for the first time.

“We don’t usually experience snowfall in the town area and this morning (February 21) was quite unusual,” said the 45-year-old professor, who is a resident of Pfütsero. He added that he had never seen snowfall in the town.

‘Snowfall has been reported twice this year in Pfütsero. In February first week, it snowed in and around Glory peak and Peak of Hope but it did not happen in town area. But unlike the previous one, it’s unusual this time. Prior to snowing, it was raining and drizzling, and at around 7 am on Monday, residents started witnessing snowfall which lasted for about an hour or so,’ he said.

‘Having experienced something new, some parents took their children up to Glory Peak and Peak of Hope to witness snowfall before going to school. Visitors from different places arrived at Pfütsero to witness the sight,’ he said, while adding that his niece and her husband too travelled all the way from Kohima to witness snowfall.   

Many parents, including Ritse, chose not to send their children to school owing to cold weather. He said that many schools might record low attendance on Monday.

The assistant professor went on to say masons, who were constructing his house, took a day off and most farmers didn’t go to their fields to work. Most of the people stayed indoors as hailstones and rain followed after the snowfall.

John Z Sumi, a resident of Seyochung, told this newspaper that snowfall hit the town in the morning hours and was followed by rain and chilly weather, compelling the people to stay indoors.

“We have never experienced such kind of snowfall in decades. This is the first of its kind,” said Sumi, who is a graduate teacher.

He described the snowfall in his hometown as “unimaginable” and “terrible” as the cold was ‘unbearable’.

It snowed heavily in Seyochung, which people might not even imagine; it will be definitely a history for the residents here, he said, adding that it was the second snowfall at Seyochung this year ( first was in January first week).

The 34-year-old teacher went on to say that people were seen playing in the snow despite the biting cold.

‘Climate Change is real’

Children playing in the snow at Pfütsero on Monday. (Ontipong)

The snow-covered surroundings may have caught the eye of many onlookers but some see it as sign of an impending challenging future caused by climate change.

Sumi is of the opinion that the snowfall in Seyochung is because of the climate change as ‘we have never experienced such kind of weather before’.

Pelevizo Meyase, photographer and filmmaker whose work is mostly related to wildlife conservation and storytelling, said: “We can clearly see that climate change is real and we need to act now.”

“We may feel it is not our responsibility to act or start to live a sustainable life but everyone needs to start thinking. It is our responsibility and also it is affecting us,” he added.

Meyase informed that his village Khonoma had experienced the fourth snowfall this year and had spread to areas.

‘With the changing weather, kholar (kidney beans) in Kiphire, potatoes in Southern and Western Angami areas, and cabbage in Pfütsero would be severely affected, and there will be less organic vegetables if it continues,’ he said.

He said that some acts that people can do to mitigate the climate crisis are decreasing carbon footprints, reduce one-time-use items, avoid throwing garbage into the rivers and streams, minimise to what one really needs, recycling things in a creative way, etc.

‘Small things like these from every individual can help make this world a better place to live in,’ he said.

He added that organising a mass cleanliness drive for a day in a year and dumping waste in one area won’t help much in fighting climate change but leading a sustainable lifestyle will.

A resident of Kohima also observed that people should be concerned about the climate crisis instead of being excited at the sight of the snowfall.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Feb 22, 2022 1:49:06 am