Blog A WOW-ARTICLE AS I THINK:
‘What passing bells for these who die as cattle’
- Nathan Schneider
- April 23, 2013
In India, Poachers Are Now Killing Elephants With Electrified Power Lines http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/10/09/indian-elephant-poaching?cmpid=tpanimals-eml-2012-10-12-india
Arachnaphobia! Army of Aggressive Alien Spiders invade Indian Village Manimugdha S Sharma
The Economic Times, India 2012-06-03 13:50:00 Jintu Gogoi’s neighbourhood in Sadiya, Upper Assam, is no longer friendly. Over two weeks ago, an army of eight-legged freaks invaded it. It all happened in the evening on May 8. Most of the inhabitants of Chaulkhowa Nagaon village had been to a Bihu function. When the programme drew to a close, swarms of spiders suddenly descended from nowhere and started biting the people.
The festive mood soon turned into one of panic with people bumping into each other and tripping over empty benches in their frantic bid to egress. Jintu was bitten by one of these critters. It all sounded like a scene from a Hollywood horror flick, but as Jintu showed his blackened, swollen finger, to TOI, it became clear that it was not some elaborate hoax created by some mischief-monger, it was something that happened for real. But the panic it triggered could have been certainly avoided had there been enough awareness among laymen and mandarins about arachnids.
Jintu spent a day at the Sadiya Civil Hospital after he complained of excruciating pain and nausea. When he returned home, he had more terrifying stories to tell. Terror was still writ large on his face even two weeks after the incident, but he thanked his stars for being alive. His neighbour, Purnakanta Buragohain, was not that lucky. He died in the hospital after a spider allegedly bit him.
The events that unfolded in the next few days left everyone baffled. Scores of people arrived in the Sadiya civil hospital with spider bites, some even carrying their tormentors to the hospital. Amid all this, another person, this time a schoolboy, died of an alleged spider bite.
And the district administration panicked. They sounded an alert across Tinsukia district and asked people to stay indoors at night-the time the unknown critters would swarm all over the place. They talked about fogging the place with DDT to kill the arachnids but couldn’t find any effective solution. What’s worse: they even let the two bodies to be cremated without conducting any autopsy.
Yet the spider menace continued. None had any answer as to what kind of a spider it was and how it made such a sudden appearance. Then on May 22, a team of life scientists from Dibrugarh University and Gauhati University arrived in Sadiya. Led by Dr L R Saikia, head, Department of Life Sciences, Dibrugarh University, the team camped in the trouble spot for two days and nights and collected specimens. “
As of now, we cannot give a specific name. It’s similar to the tarantula, but it could be a whole new species. There aren’t any arachnologists in the northeast, so it will take us a while to identify it. But whatever the species, it is a highly aggressive spider. It leaps at anything that comes close.
Some of the victims claimed the spider latched onto them after biting. If that is so, it needs to be dealt with carefully. The chelicerae and fangs of this critter are quite powerful; but it’s too early to declare it a killer spider. In fact, we are yet to test its venom and find out the toxicity,” says Dr Saikia.
Press Trust of India
New Delhi: The entire north India shivered on Monday as 11 more people succumbed to the cold sweeping the region pushing the death toll to 39. Dense fog and dipping temperatures threw normal life out of gear at several places as nine deaths occurred in Punjab and two in Uttar Pradesh since last evening.
The death count from the harsh weather has risen to 30 in Uttar Pradesh where Fatehgarh with a minimum temperature of 3.9 degrees was the coldest place in the state. The national capital woke up to a thick blanket of fog which reduced the visibility to almost zero in some areas and disrupted rail and air traffic.
Dense fog also hit rail services in the region with over 40 trains running behind schedule, a railway spokesperson said.
Cold conditions prevailed in Kashmir with the minimum temperatures dropping several degrees below freezing point as the weather department forecast light to moderate snowfall at many places. Sub-zero night temperatures have resulted in freezing of water supply lines in many areas. Mercury in the skiing resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir plummeted to a minimum of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.