Update on Cyclone that hit Makaibari
04 Jul, 2009 | Written by Anupa Mueller
As you may know by now, on May 25, Cyclone Aila hit Makaibari and the Kurseong Valley of Darjeeling. We set up a relief fund and we are grateful to everyone who has contributed and continues to do so. We will leave it up for a while. The villagers who live there are overwhelmed by your gratitude and in their words, "It's a positive sign of hope that there's someone who cares". The devastation was significant. The Kurseong Valley of Darjeeling is famous for its many big names - Makaibari & Castleton among them. Castleton suffered heavy damages in their Dhargaon village. A huge landslide destroyed a portion of their tea and today, a month later, the slide continues to traumatize all in the vicinity with its ominous groaning sound as it continues to move. The first few nights were sleepless for all. Unfortunately, lives were lost. Above Singell Tea Estate, a massive landslide buried a family and all members died. At Longview Estate, an estate at lower elevations, an enormous tree got uprooted, trapped an adolescent girl over a day, eventually killing her since no one could extricate her. Happy Valley, another famous name, suffered significant loss with 6 people dying instantly and with a significant damage to their tea holdings. Goomtee also suffered loss but thankfully only in property and not in lives. Similarly with Arya estate. All told about 50 people died in this area with losses exceeding $6M, a number that is staggering considering the small area. As I continue to send back news of contributions and comments, the people of Makaibari are overwhelmed with the generosity and sympathy being extended to them from a thousand miles away.