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Friday, May 9, 2014

changing records ... 'Cherrapunjee' (Chirapunji) wettest place on earth

We often hear this cliché – ‘records are meant to be broken’ ……. I had earlier posted about Mark Taylor…..  and the test in Peshawar in Oct 1998. On a flat, evenly grassed  typical Paki wicket, Taylor never looked like getting out.  On day 2,  Australia added 375 for the loss of three wickets. At stumps, they were 599 for four, with Taylor unbeaten on 334 and level with Bradman's Australian record at Headingley in 1930. He clipped the final ball of the day, from Aamir Sohail, towards square leg, Ijaz, threw down a hand and managed to stop a single. Taylor had batted for exactly 12 hours and 564 balls, hitting 32 fours and a six.  More drama was to unfold next day morning as Taylor declared ~ he was the Captain and he declared without having a go at Bradman’s record…..  some acclaimed it as a sacrifice – some said it was just a decision…. ~   recently at Brendon McCullum acclaimed shorter version specialist made a triple ton against India at Basin Reserve … at close of play he was unbeaten on 281; just 19 away from that awesome triple and the possibility of scoring more….


In Dec 2009, the swashbuckler Virender Sehwag was unbeaten on 284 consuming only 239 delivery @ 118.82 making his fastest 150 + score in Test.  There was huge expectation of his completing 300, challenging Bradman and perhaps erasing Brian Lara. Next morning Viru fell seven short of a record breaking triple century – out caught and bowled by Muthiah Muralitharan for 293. His earlier triples had come against South Africa (319 at Chennai) and at Multan (309).   For long Gary Sobers 365 stood at top – Lara upstaged it scoring 375; Hayden broke the record with 380 – soon to be reclaimed by Brain Lara who made 400…..which remains perched at top now. 

In Oct 2013, I had posted  ~ of the heaviest of  downpours … in schools we have read that at Chirapunji [Cherrapunjee] it rains all the time and is the place which receives maximum rainfall in the World.  Cherrapunji is a town in the East Khasi Hills in Meghalaya. It is the traditional capital of a hima (Khasi tribal chieftainship constituting a petty state) known as Sohra or Churra. Cherrapunji is located at 25.30°N 91.70°E. It has an average elevation of 1,484 metres (4,869 ft) and sits on a plateau in the southern part of the Khasi Hills, facing the plains of Bangladesh. Read that the original name for Chirapunjee was Sohra, which was pronounced "Churra" by the British. This name eventually evolved into the current name, Cherrapunji. The word "cherrapunji" means 'land of oranges'. 

In that I had posted about  – Mawsynram ~ a village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, 65 kilometers from Shillong. Daily Mail reported that this place is the ‘wettest place on Earth’, with an annual rainfall of 11,872 millimetres (467.4 in).  Mawsynram is located at 25° 18' N, 91° 35' E, at an altitude of about 1,400 metres (4,600 ft), 16 km west of Cherrapunji, in theKhasi Hills. The name of the village contains Maw, a Khasi word meaning stone, and thus might refer to certain megaliths in the surrounding area. That report stated that Mawsynram, located about 15 km north-west of Cherrapunji was the wettest place in the world, or the place with the highest average annual rainfall. According to that report the top wettest places  were: Mawsynram, Meghalaya, - 11,871mm per year; Cerrapunji, Meghalaya - 11,777mm – followed by : Tutendo, Columbia - 11,770mm; Cropp at Waterfall in New Zealand - 11,516mm and Ureca on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea, Africa - 10,450mm.

That has changed again …. With Cherrapunji reclaiming its exalted position at top.  The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization.  Established in 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology(weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Here is a report of WMO issued on 4th April 2014 :  World Meteorological Organization (WMO) panel has concluded that Cherrapunji in India now holds the world record for two-day (48-hour) rainfall, with 2 493 millimeters (98.15 inches) recorded on 15–16 June 1995. This rainfall total exceeds the previous world 48-hour rainfall record of 2 467mm (97.1”) associated with the passage of a tropical cyclone over the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion (France) in April 1958.  The WMO Commission of Climatology international panel of experts reached its decision following an in-depth investigation of the Cherrapunji rainfall event for it to be included in the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes, the official international listing of weather and climate extremes.

The new 48-hour record is particularly noteworthy as it reaffirms Cherrapunji (also known as Sohra) as one of the wettest places on Earth. It complements Cherrapunji’s long-held record rainfall for a 12-month (one-year) period, with 26 470 mm (86 feet 10 inches) of rain from August 1860 to July 1861. The investigation was conducted at the request, and with the support, of the India Meteorological Department, and was based on post-event data analysis. The investigating committee was composed of climate experts from Argentina, Columbia, France, Germany, India, Morocco, Spain and the United States of America.

while one feels justifiable pride in a part of our Nation getting this exalted fame ~ one also wonders why with such a massive Organisational strength and with so much technology – still things are reviewed after passage of time – and announcements made !
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

9th May 2014.

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