In less than a month, Cyclone Amphan has wreaked havoc in West Bengal, swarms of locusts have been spotted ravaging crops in four different states, and a heatwave has gripped North India. All this in the middle of a pandemic that has, to date, already affected over 1 lakh people in India.

And now stories have come up of 46 forest fires burning for four days in Uttarakhand's hilly terrain, making it the world's warmest region on May 26.

Forest Fires
Source: BI

Though these forest fires are not as severe as those in the past, it is the latest grim indicator of the on-going climate crisis.

Just two weeks ago, on May 16, Cyclone Amphan ravaged West Bengal, leading to an estimated loss of $13.2 bn.

In its wake, it claimed the lives of 82 people, while destroying India's majestic, heritage, mangrove forest, Sunderbans.

Sunderbans
Source: The Daily Star (Ananta Yusuf)

Cyclone Amphan also triggered flash floods in Assam, with continuous heavy rainfall that has reportedly affected over 2 lakh people.

In addition to this, the on-going locust attacks is the worst India has seen in 26 years and it is a cause of great concern. Because they were sighted earlier than expected and across areas where such sightings are not common.

Contrary to their normal sighting during July- October along the Pakistan border, locusts have swarmed across Jaipur, MP’s Gwalior, Nagpur, Morena, Sheopur, etc. in May. In fact, the first sightings were reported early on, in April itself.

According to reports, climate change is one of the main reasons why locusts attacks have been increasing in frequency and altering patterns. The unexpected rains in June 2019, on the Indian side of the Thar desert, prompted the first locust attack since 1997 in Rajasthan.

All these incidents have taken place in the midst of a global pandemic that has led to the loss of over 3 lakh lives globally, and within India, led to one of the largest migrant crisis.

Migrant Crisis
Source: QZ

Not to mention the minor but frequent earthquake tremors felt across various parts of India, in the last few weeks.

Additionally, the Uttarakhand wildfires, Cyclone Amphan, and locusts attacks come at the heels of the devastating wildfires that ravaged Australia, less than five months ago.

Australian fires
Source: YouTube

These are grim but hard-hitting indicators that while nature may have rejuvenated a little during the lockdown, the climate crisis is still real and a cause of grave concern. And we still need to work hard to ensure that the planet we are leaving for the future generations, is more than just another natural or man-made disaster waiting to happen.