Four districts of Nagaland — Zunheboto, Kiphire, Tuensang and Phek— witnessed snowfall on Thursday and Friday, leading to a viral circulation of videos on social media, with users claiming that it was an occurrence of nearly four decades.
In Zunheboto, villages such as Luvishe, Tokiye and Satoim woke up to a blanket of snow on Friday morning. “It started snowing on Thursday,” said Peter Lichamo, DC, Zunheboto. “It is normal for temperatures to dip to 10-11 degrees Celsius in these areas, but this time it is down to 2-3 degrees Celsius.” Read in Bangla
While indianexpress.com was unable to confirm if the occurrence was indeed after four decades, many in Nagaland concurred that the “intensity and volume” of snowfall in certain areas was “unprecedented”.
As per reports, Luvishe Old village of the Aghunato sub-division, which falls under the Zunheboto district, received snowfall after a decade. “I can’t confirm the exact number of years, but villagers are telling us that it snows only once in 8-10 years,” said Lichamo.
In the adjacent district of Tuensang, the Shamator and Noklak sub-division received snowfall as well.
“Reportedly, it was quite common decades back when the rain forests were pristine and thick. More recently, we have had snowflakes in forested areas and mountain tops but what we are seeing now is definitely unusual,” said Toshi Wungtung, MLA, Shamator constituency, which falls in Tuensang district.
“We are currently trying to get feedback if the poor and elderly have enough shelter and warmth in these extreme weather conditions since this situation is unprecedented,” Wungtung added.
Johnny Ruangmei, officer on special duty, Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority confirmed that no incident of injury has been reported yet.
“This has been caused by the cyclonic circulation (CC) over the Bay of Bengal. It is common for Nagaland to witness snowfall in the surrounding mountains. In fact, in winters, rivers in Dzokou, Dzulakie in Kohima freeze. That is normal. But what we are seeing now is something we have never seen before — in all our years growing up in Nagaland,” he said.
Nagaland is largely mountainous. Mount Saramati — the state’s highest peak — is at an elevation of 3,841.00 metres. The temperatures through the state remain unusually low with temperatures between 7-14 degree Celsius during the day and dipping down to 3 degrees Celsius at night.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had warned of fog in West Bengal, Sikkim, Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland in its weather bulletin.