Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rainfall data of April2019 for Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya

Rainfall information of the region is shown above.
Towards the end of April2019, the first low pressure area of the year formed in the Bay of Bengal; it eventually became Cyclone  'FANI'.
No landslides were reported in April2019 in our region.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Cyclone 'FANI' - the first cyclone of 2019 to hit Indian Coast (track from JTWC -27Apr2019)

STH posts alerts/tracks of relevant storms and extreme weather which will affect the Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalayas directly on the 'HAZARD ALERT (HA)' What's APP group so as to provide EW to communities and people who would be impacted.
HA was formed by STH two monsoons ago and today with 183 members many of whom are from the local media, NGOs and govt officials, we hope the EW message in the age of social media can reach a large number of people in time so that lives will be saved.
We will, however ALSO post info and pertinent data regarding significant storms so as to maintain a record of extreme events affecting this region.

Update as on 03May2019

Last track and warning (No 27) from JTWC- 04MAy2019
Bullet points on Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS) 'FANI':
  • First Cyclone in Bay of Bengal in 2019. Time span from 27Apr2019 till 04May2019.
  • Was the strongest cyclone in the Bay in 20yrs. One million evacuated in Odisha.
  • Airports were shut down and trains cancelled and both PM Modi and CM of Bengal monitored FANI closely from control rooms.
  • Became a super-typhoon for a short duration with wind speeds touching 300kmph and made landfall near Puri in the early morning of 03May with windspeeds of 200kmph.
    Extensive damage in Odisha
  • However, minimal damage in W Bengal which was also along the track of FANI.
  • It quickly weakened after landfall and rainfall in Kolkata was much less than expected.
  • Fatalities remained minimal and was less than 10
  • The effect of FANI in Darjeeling-Sikkim was mild with light rain (Kalimpong -25mm) and hardly any change in wind speeds.
  • The storm weakened and moved towards the North Eastern states where wind velocities again reached 100kmph. Considerable damage was reported in Meghalaya
  • By 05May, the storm had completely dissipated.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,

Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

STH activities : Raising awareness in Kalimpong on the menace of plastic waste (08Apr2019)

STH is a part of the Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative which in turn is the W Bengal state chapter of IMI

Praful Rao
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Rainfall data of Feb2019 for the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

Regret Darjeeling rainfall data was not available.

Praful Rao
Kalimpong district
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

STH activity : Participating in CASA's Program on 'Climate Change and Impact on Lives and Livelihoods' :19Mar2019 (Darjeeling)

Major issues highlighted:
·       Critical water security problems in the entire Dooars and mountain regions.
·       Food Security in the mountains almost non-existent with the rural youth not interested in farming due to low yield, crop disease, water shortage, human- wildlife conflict in the backdrop of climate change.
·       Total focus on cash crops in mountain agriculture has led to a decline in cultivation of traditional crops such as millet, barley and even vegetables.
·       Decline in cash crops in the mountains: traditional crops such as ginger, oranges and even cardamom have almost disappeared with newer crops such as kiwi fruit, coffee likely to replace them. The moot question is when? –with the most important functionaries ie the relevant government departments being obsessed with other issues. The only viable cash crop in the mountains being broomsticks today.
·       While MNREGA project generates some employment for families, it has totally failed in promoting skills among the rural hill folk.
·       Tea production and the quality of tea has declined both in the Dooars and Darjeeling hills due to migration, triggered by low wages and tea garden companies slowly withdrawing benefits such as uniforms, homesteads, subsidized kerosene and power bills.
·       Large scale unemployment in the Dooars belt leading again to migration and human trafficking by organized gangs.
·       Regular flooding with no little or no warning in the Alipur Duar region due to rain in the mountains of  Bhutan which charges the Torsa and other rivers quickly and suddenly.
·       Rampant child labour in the Dooars with children working in factories in Bhutan on very low wages (Rs 50/day).
·       Extreme and erratic rainfall and temperatures compounding problems.
·       Emerging and powerful role of the water vendor in Darjeeling town in a scenario where the burgeoning population, declining rainfall has resulted in demand for water far outstripping supply. Little or no heed however, being paid to the quality of water being supplied.
·       Child –centric DRR

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Rainfall data of Darjeeling -Sikkim Jan 2019

Jan 2019 rain (in mm)
Darjeeling : NIL
Kalimpong : NIL

Kurseong : NIL
North Sikkim: 19mm

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling Sikkim Himalaya

Friday, February 22, 2019

Project LANDSLIP meeting in Darjeeling (19 - 21Feb2019)

With the completion of the project approx 2 years from now, we hope Darjeeling will have a working EW system for heavy rain and landslides at a regional level (rather than the many site specific sensor - based EW /landslide prediction models which have developed by IITs and Universities.)

23Feb2019 event : Visit to the Pashyor landslide in Kalimpong


Praful Rao
Kalimpong district
Darjeeling Sikkim Himalaya

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Winter rains and precipitation in the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya (16Feb2019)

Placed above are IR images of clouding over the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya of time 0530hrs and 1230hrs. The clouding is due to one of a series of WDs which has been affecting the western Himalaya first, then sweeping east towards us.
In Kalimpong there was continuous thunder and lightning from around 1330hrs till 1830hrs though the rainfall was only light. Darjeeling on the other hand was swathed in a blanket of hail. Read more here.

In this regard, I am placing the explanation to this weather event, below:

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling Sikkim Himalaya