Saturday, January 21, 2017

STH Activities (18/19Jan2017) : Participating in Project 'LANDSLIP' and an awareness program with Colby College (USA)

In the bottom slide (with Colby College) STH President is 1 and Prof Roy 2.

An excerpt from the Telegraph on Project 'Landslip' is reproduced below :-

"Darjeeling, Jan. 19:
An international science consortium has picked Darjeeling in north Bengal and the Nilgiris in south India to test a new mechanism for landslide risk reduction through better assessment, early warning systems, and improved community preparedness.
Scientists from India, Italy, and the UK plan to combine terrain geology with weather data to improve their understanding of landslide dynamics and use that information for risk assessment and alert local communities to potential hazard zones.
Tracts of the Darjeeling hills are highly vulnerable to landslides that have killed many people over the years. In July 2015, more than 40 people died or went missing in landslides across the hills. Some areas of eastern Sikkim will also be included in the project.
The scientists caution that their four-year project, funded by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council, the Department for International Development, through the Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience programme, does not seek to predict landslides.
"First and foremost, we are not predicting landslides. What we are doing is looking at and collecting information on landslide hazards," said Helen Reeves, the director of science for engineering geology with the British Geological Survey.
The Geological Survey of India, a major partner in the project, will provide the landslide data available for the area since 1899.
"One of the reasons for choosing this area is that data availability, landslide susceptibility, and varied terrain conditions," said Saibal Ghosh, the director of GSI. "Tea gardens here, too, have maintained rainfall data for decades and it will also be useful."
Bruce Malamud, professor of natural and environmental hazards at King's College, London, said: "The project will look at a combination of things such as elevation, geology, and landslide susceptibility. We are basically saying there could be an elevated chance here, and a reduced chance there."
The scientists plan to generate early warning systems to disseminate potential hazard information among local communities. The Italian National Research Council has already developed a forecasting system that regularly alerts local governments.
The India project will also seek to involve district administrations to reach out to communities, although the medium of communication is yet to be determined. "We will look for what best suits the local communities," said Malamud. "Maybe, we could work out a system that could use text messages, social (media), smartphones, radio, or other wireless systems."
Scientists from India's Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, the UK Met Office, Newcastle University, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy, among other institutions are also collaborating on the project.
Praful Rao of Save the Hills, an NGO based in Kalimpong which is working on natural disasters, said: "The very fact that an international consortium is working on landslides in the region is a major development. This would lead to a better understanding and preparedness for risk reduction."
The project also plans to invite experts from Afghanistan to share experiences with regard to landslides."

Praful Rao,
Kalmpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Good news for the Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya - an Event of Note (18Jan2017, Darjeeling)

After a relatively quiescent Dec2016, I am glad that 2017 is opening up with a visit to Darjeeling by a high powered group of scientists from the UK, Italy and India and all working on landslides.


STH will be attending the seminar on 18Jan2017 at Darjeeling.
You can read more about LANDSLIP here

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Monday, December 5, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

STH Stormwatch : Cyclone 'NADA' brews up in the Bay of Bengal (30Nov2016)

Cyclone 'NADA' has  formed in the Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall in Tamil Nadu in the early hours of the morning on 02Dec2016.
Thus far in 2016, we have had 3 Cyclones forming in the Bay of Bengal - Roanu, Kyant and now Cyclone NADA

Praful Rao.
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Thursday, November 17, 2016

STH Activities : With Component 'V' of NDMA team for drawing up a National Strategy on Landslide Risk Managment (24-25Oct2016)

Subsequent to the first meeting called by NDMA for the Formulation of a National Strategy on Landslide Risk Management, Component 'V' which is responsible for preparation of Mountain Zone Regulations and Policies met for two days in Kalimpong.
Being a member of this Component,I am extremely happy that the 6 member team could visit the Chibo-Pashyor landslide area in Kalimpong and also interact with affected members of the community in a focused group discussion.


For those interested, the following six major components have been formed for formulating the National Landslide Strategy by the NDMA :-

I. Generation of User-Friendly Landslide Hazard Maps

II. Development of Landslide Monitoring and Early Warning System (EWS)

III.Awareness Programmes

IV. Capacity Building and Training of stakeholders

V. Preparation of Mountain Zone Regulations & Policies

VI. Stabilization and Mitigation of Landslides & Creation of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for Landslide Management 

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling


Sunday, November 13, 2016

STH Activities : With IIIT (Hyderabad) team for landslide familiarization (08/09Oct2016)


One of the central roles of STH has been spreading awareness about landslides - a hazard form whose impact on mountain communities has been neglected and under-estimated to a large degree the world over.
As such we have used every opportunity to engage with visiting teams both from India and abroad in the many landslide familiarization visits we have made over the years - records of all such visits are documented in this blog. In Oct 2016 as a part of this program, we took two visiting delegates of IIIT (Hyderabad) for a tour of landslides in and around Kalimpong on 08/09Oct2016. The institute is working on landslide prediction equipment which they would probably be installing in the Chibo-Pashyor landslide zone.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong'
Dist Darjeeling

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

STH Stormwatch : Low Pressure in Bay of Bengal (01Nov2016) and update (04Nov2016)


The system has intensified into a depression and is expected eventually become a cyclone.

Praful Rao
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Thursday, October 27, 2016

STH stormwatch : Death of Cyclone 'Kyant'

Extract of JTWC statement on Cyclone 'KYANT' :-
' UPPER-LEVEL ANALYSIS SHOWS A POINT SOURCE JUST TO THE EAST OF THE SYSTEM INTRODUCING SOME EASTERLY WIND SHEAR NOT CONDUCIVE FOR REDEVELOPMENT. THE UPPER LEVEL ENVIRONMENT IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN UNFAVORABLE AS THE DEEP-LAYERED RIDE BUILDS ESTABLISHING PREDOMINANT EASTERLY FLOW ALOFT. THE REMNANTS OF TS KYANT IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE ON A TRACK TO THE WEST-SOUTHWEST ALONG THE SOUTHERN PERIPHERY OF THE BUILDING DEEP-LAYERED RIDGE TO THE NORTHWEST. THIS IS THE FINAL WARNING ON THIS SYSTEM BY THE JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI. THE SYSTEM WILL BE CLOSELY MONITORED FOR SIGNS OF REGENERATION.'

Praful Rao,

Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling






Monday, October 24, 2016

STH Stormwatch (24Oct2016) : Storm in bay intensifies into a DEEP depression

Update 1 (25Oct2016) :- Cyclone 'Kyant is born
This is the second cyclone in the Bay in 2016 after Cyclone 'Roanu'

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong
Dist Darjeeling

Friday, October 21, 2016

STH Stormwatch : Depression in the Bay of Bengal (21Oct2016)

Updates will be posted as necessary

Update 1 (JTWC IR image of two storms in our region)
Predicted storm track (shown in RED) is an approximation (NOT accurate!).

Update 2 (23Oct2016)

Update 3 (23Oct2016) - IMD predicted track
 
Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling