Monday, August 14, 2017

Rainfall data of July2017 for the Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya


July is the month that monsoon rainfall peaks in this region and it did just that. We had normal rainfall in Darjeeling and Kalimpong with Kurseong (as usual, taking the cake).

As stated earlier, the entire Darjeeling/Kalimpong districts have been under lock down for the past 60 days with an indefinite strike in progress here because of the ongoing political turmoil
Life has been paralyzed with vehicular traffic off road, tea gardens, schools and colleges closed, hydro-electric stations shut down and internet banned.
Under these altered circumstances, STH, like everyone else has confined to barracks and as such the absence of posts or data on this blog. 
Do bear with us.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district
Darjeeling- Sikkim Himalaya



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Rainfall data of Jun2017 for the Darjeeling -Sikkim Himalaya

Despite at least two low pressure areas which formed in the Bay of Bengal the Darjeeling- Sikkim Himalaya remained largely deficient in rainfall. Remember, June is a month when rainfall in this region more or less peaks (see graph below).

Of course, all the rain went east to the north eastern states and Bangladesh where there was and continues to be devastation due to excessive rain.
No major landslides occurred during this period.
Starting 08Jun2017, the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts were swept by another form of disaster - political turmoil, with people of the region aspiring for a separate state of GORKHALAND. As on date, we are on the 20th day of a total strike with internet virtually non-existent and mobile services severely affected.
This shutdown of communications (including road) during of a time of year when we are most disaster prone, does not forebode well for us.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

Friday, June 16, 2017

STH activities: With team from IIIT (Hyd) for installing Real Time Monitoring Sensors for Landslide Prediction (11-14Jun2017)

The CHIBO- PASHYOR landslides on the western face of Kalimpong have been featured many times on this blog, primarily because they are a major source of instability in the vicinity of Kalimpong town.
Six sensors, an AWS and a data logger (see this link) which automatically monitor slope failure and also  remotely measure and transmit rainfall and soil moisture data have been installed at the most unstable part of the landslide area.
This was done by three young researchers from IIIT (Hyd) who were in Kalimpong from the 11-14Jun2017. STH which has been associated with IIIT in their previous visit worked closely with the 3 researchers for selecting the sites for sensor placement and also liaising with the local people for security of the equipment.
On successful completion of  the 2yr project, IIIT hopes to develop landslide prediction equipment which could give early warning on landslides, based on rainfall thresholds and slope movement.
Will be posting co-ordinates of the sensor, datalogger locations shortly.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nominations open for the IMI's Dr RS Tolia Award 2017 for 'Outstanding work in the Mountains'

DR R.S. TOLIA AWARD 2017

Call for Nominations
The Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) community suffered a great loss in 2016 with the passing away of its esteemed and visionary leader, elder, and guiding light- Dr RS Tolia. Dr RS Tolia conceptualized the idea of IMI, got the like-minded people on board and led it from the front as its founding President. His passion and commitment towards improving the lives of mountain communities is what drove him. There are few people who have had such a profound impact on the future direction of mountain development as Dr Tolia. His vision and commitment for the formation of a pan-Indian mountain movement not only unified diverse mountain states of India but also inspired others. His deep understanding of the links among people, cultures, livelihoods and mountain environment undoubtedly influenced a generation of researchers, organizations and policymakers.
While his passionate determination will continue to inspire people, IMI community aims to encourage passionate individuals to carry forward the cause of integrated mountain development to commemorate the memory of Dr. Tolia and in gratitude to its founding President. Therefore, in the 10th General council (GC) Meeting held on 10th February, 2017 at Delhi, the GC of IMI resolved to institute ‘Dr RS Tolia Award’ to recognize individual efforts that have made impact in integrating and addressing the issues of mountain communities.
Purpose & Rationale
The purpose of the award is to recognize and reward the exemplary work of individuals whose work has created an impact / has the potential to impact sustainable prosperity and well-being of the people of the Mountain states in India. In exceptional cases organizations can will also be considered. However, the preference will be to reward individuals.
Eligibility Criteria & Profile of the Suitable Candidate
1. Individuals whose work has created an impact or has the potential to impact the lives and sustainability of Mountain areas positively are eligible to apply for the Award
2. In rare cases, we may recognize institutions where such institutions are systematically responsible for driving action that meets the purpose of this award.
3. The award will not be restricted to any particular sectors or fields of action.
4. Innovation at grass root levels with widespread application/ impact as well as policy advocacy aimed at addressing issues and challenges of mountain states in India, are eligible for consideration for award
5. Academic research that informs policy formulation and action research with similar impact is also eligible.
6. The award is aimed at celebrating the contribution of mountain people working to improve the lives of mountain people and sustainable prosperity of IMI member states, but eligibility for nomination for the award is not restricted to people from mountains only. If some individuals’ / organizations’ work has made a huge positive difference to people of the member states of IMI, they will be recognized irrespective of where they come from
Value of the Award
The value of the Award is Rs. 1 lakh cash, citation and a medallion. In addition, IMI will cover all related expenses such as travel expenses of final nominees and the award winner as appropriate.
Deadline
Nominations for the award are now open and will be accepted till 30 June 2017 (midnight). Interested individuals/organisations must download the nomination form and send in their application along with a recent CV by this date to pd.imi@inmi.in. Late applications will not be considered.
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Read more here

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya,
9475033744

Monday, June 5, 2017

Rainfall data of Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalaya (MAY2017)


Brief summary :-
  • Rainfall in May2017 for the Darjeeling - Sikkim Himalayas was deficient (except for Jaldhaka, in the foot hills of the Dooars). Most of the rainfall occurred in the first half of the month while the latter half was largely dry.
  • We had our first fatality of the year with a tree smashing down and instantly killing the driver of a truck on NH10 near Melli on 09May2017
  • We also had Cyclone 'Mora' brewing up in the Bay of Bengal but it did not affect us in any way
Credits : Maps and lower chart from IMD

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong district,
Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya,
9475033744