Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fifteen Centimetres of Rain Kill Eleven in a Flash

That's way too many Mauritians to die in a few hours. It's equivalent to about 10,600 deaths for India. Which is roughly the number of lives that were lost there in the 2004 Tsunami. The sheer scale of Saturday's tragedy requires that we find out exactly what went wrong and what needs to be fixed. And what has been done since the Domah report on the 2008 floods was published. But in the meantime the torrential rain protocol needs to be optimised for the preservation of lives. At least those using the underpass of death everyday. Because of how the climate and the concrete invasion is different every few kilometres on our island.

All this should happen while we experience one of our national treasures: our legendary solidarity. And we should definitely be grateful that the torrents of water weren't radioactive.

19 comments:

akagugo said...

What went wrong? What needs to be fixed? These questions have already been answered many years ago by Gibb and Judge Domah.

Well, we are endowed with beautifully well-written laws to forbid encroaching on reserves (yes, that strip of frontage of your land that belongs to you as per your title deed but should not be touched as per law and common sense), to forbid connecting your roof drains to the roadside gutters, to forbid throwing anything outside bins, to forbid constructing on wetlands, etc, etc, but who cares to abide, let alone enforce these laws.
Pay as much you want to any experts, local or foreign, but if you have no balls to enforce and implement, it's no use crying over spilt milk. Just buy some more and get on with life, until disaster strikes again.

Er, for those who keep saying it was all unpredictable, just cast a look at Canal Dayot on Google Earth, and see for yourself why, actually, it was disaster in waiting: its located at the confluence of two 'rivers', and when the waters rise (why they rose is another matter), how they behave. Now, just make the same simulation with other parts of the country, like Terre Rouge estuary, Coromandel and the like, where buildings have been allowed to be erected below water lines and pieds-dans-l'eau. It's sad to say, but you don't need to be Madam Kwok to predict what will happen in these places someday.

Mon Gout was not enough in March 2008. Not even February 2013. Hope the deaths of March 2013 will make us realise that what we need is action. And a permanence of the action of the State: it's criminal to sideline a vital project just because it was initiated under the government of another political party. No more of bla-bla.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Yep, enforcement has been very sloppy if not fatally absent. And indeed Canal Dayot looks quite scary on Google Maps. Allows very little margin of management error.

Still you wonder why the Domah/Gibb recommendations have not been implemented yet. Lack of funds? Because of shaitanomics I guess.

Anonymous said...

so where should water from roof drains go?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Enn emisyon interesan sirtu performans Sok Appadu.

akagugo said...

@ SJ: ou ti pé dir "build according to type of ground" interesting? Actually, it is basic concept in engineering design: you must take each and every case on a one-by-one basis, and take on board local parameters, which may be unique. Sa ti zistwar-la pou montré a-kel pwin li important napa nék 'copy-paste' dépi déor britt-britt, éna la-morr la-dan.

La, éna enn ki'nn (ré)koumanss obsédé ar Singapour-la, mém pou inondation li'nn apél bann-la, pa koné ki li pou al rabassé ankor dan so prosenn deklaration dans enn fétt sosio-kiltirel parla. Zis enn ti lexamp long-term 'engineering planning': Hong Kong dépi 1957 inn koumans 'tame the floods' par converti lagon dilo somat en lagon dilo-dou, ek zordi, 92% dilo ki li produir sortt dépi sa 3 gran lagon dilo-dou la, ki alimanté par 'surface run-off' - lakoz sa-mem ki tou zot lari, canal ek dalo ress netwayé pli prop ki ou lassyétt manzé. Ek, pa blié dir ou ki pou ekonomiz enkor pliss (25% consomation), zott flush twalett ar dilo la-mer...

All this to say that given our situation (long drought followed by extreme rainfalls), we should be designing our infrastructure for welcoming floods so as to benefit from them...
Ayo, pa baté, mo tro révé...

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Buku common sense: zot azut enn kus sak lane. Pa sagrin u get sa? Ler u mazine ki nusi nu ti kumans byen...

akagugo said...

Gétt bann kinn koumans bien ek ki'nn contign pérsévéré ki'nn férr zott péi vini aster. Kapav koumans par enn 'wide-ranging commission of enquiry'.

Mé mo bien pésimis: parski lot-la o-lié nék férr enn zéss vinn montré figir dan o-mwin ENN la-mor lor 11, li'nn préférr al gétt figir Iron Lady dan Londres: EQ zero-mém ar li. Astér mazinn enn ti-koutt ki li capav pansé lor bann 99.99% ki roulérr sarétt-béf dan Dodoland...

akagugo said...

Bann ki capav ankor pé doutt dé Sok Appadu, guétt so nivo 'commitment' envérr Dodoland. SA ki appel 'long-term thinking' vou-zott!

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Nice. Sa kalite dimunn la ki bizin dan parleman.

akagugo said...

Dan parleman? Why not, for a start, replace this or that sycophant who sit on so many boards...? Do we need a cost-benefit analysis to judge on their contribution: social peace, wealth for all, constructive, positive participation?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Lartik BBC la dir ti pu kut Rs2 milyon pu nwal zwe Liberia. Mem pa 4 mwa lapey AMM sa.

Dan so ka kav fer zis enn cost analysis...

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Dilo pu tuzur truv enn sime pu ale.

akagugo said...

Eh, Cyber Island, Tiger of the Indian Ocean still doesn't know how to swim, can only wade in floods of its own making.

akagugo said...

Create 10 new flood-vulnerable areas, then give out emergency tenders for alleviating them, but not enforcing existing laws on dumping, EIA management, water-bodies, RAMSAR convention, road reserves, etc, etc.
Like the policy of financing anti-gambling campaigns from lottery taxes.
Seems that Anil is especially fond of the 'pagla-mamou' moniker...

akagugo said...

This is what a flood-plain looks like when flooded. And this is a way of taking on board the fact that flooding will become a recurrent feature of the climate: tame it and exploit it.

And to the anonymous heckler who forgot proper punctuation when posting: "so where should water from roof drains go?", the answer is simple.
Absorption pits - this is what all old houses were fitted with at the end of all their rain gutters. These small features enabled the run-off to be chanelled back to where it was deisgned to go: into the ground.

Apologies for the very late reply.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Conclusions of the judicial inquiry have been submitted last week by Judge Dookhy-Rambarrun: weak points contributing to the national tragedy have been identified.

akagugo said...

Weak points which cripple even those filthy-rich countries. See, however large the sums you invest, if you believe that a motley crew of lavishly-paid white expat mercenaries (you puny Dodolanders, just try to apply to the management-level positions and you'll tell me) driving other dirt-poor dark-skinned (from India, Pakistan and Philippines principally) will protect your higher interests...

akagugo said...

OK, we will have ample time to see this one coming: a gradual 10cm rise in sea level across the planet caused by an exceptionally large calving incident in the South Pole. Not a big deal, some may say.
But let's not forget that some of the new IRS-type pieds-dans-l'eau villas offer sea-level pontoons to moor their floating palaces onto their frontage - were these mooring spots designed to take this rise? What about the existing mooring buoys already anchored into the sea bed of our lagoons for our sea-faring workers? And the costly coastal infrastructure being implemented to protect our severely eroded beach fronts over the past 5 years? Reefs (coral grows at a few millimetres per year) will be submerged during longer hours, reducing their protection from waves accordingly? Our estuarine bridges could also need lengthening or strengthening, don't they?
Still not a big deal...?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

The powerful currents at play around Antarctica will have new places to go.