Tuesday, March 31, 2015

At last, welcome rains in the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya : 30Mar2015

If March2015 was the wettest in the last 100yrs for much of North and Central India (see here), then it must have been one of the driest in the Darjeeling-Sikkim region (see Slide 1)
From Oct2014, when the SW monsoons receded from this area, till 30Mar2015 we had no significant rains leading to bone dry conditions which caused raging forest fires (Slide 2), a severe potable water crisis in most urban dwellings in the region and dust/smoke haze which lowered visibility and resulted in months of atmospheric obscurity.
On 30Mar2015, the same storm system (Slide 3) which caused flooding and 16 deaths in Kashmir, barreled its way towards the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya, brought in sharp thundershowers at 4.40pm.
Rainfall data for 4 places in this region is placed below :-
Kalimpong - 22mm
Darjeeling town - 17mm
Aap Botey(Mineral Springs- Darjeeling) - 20.2mm
Mangan (N Sikkim) - 37mm


Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Darjeeling district.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

STH activities (15/16Jan2015) : Focus on Chibo-Pashyor region of Kalimpong

 

Chibo - Pashyor region located in the south-western tip of the Kalimpong town ridge-line consist of a number of villages and overlooking these areas are the urban settlements on the southern tip of Kalimpong town.
Due to a number of reasons, anthropogenic interference being one of them, this area has had a severe landslide problem for many decades now -
with virtually nothing being done to mitigate or otherwise control the instability of the area. Over the years, STH has highlighted (1,2 and more) the plight of this village to innumerable people including scientists, students, media people and politicians to say the least.
On 15Jan2015, STH had approx 17 students and 2 lecturers from Colby College (USA), visiting the area after an hours talk by the undersigned on 'Critical Environmental issues facing the Himalayas'. The landslide tour was conducted by Mr Subhas Lepcha, a person who belongs to Chibo village.
On 16Jan2015, STH accompanied two officials from Geological Survey of India for a tour of the affected areas.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Saturday, December 27, 2014

STH Stormwatch (27Dec2014) : Reporting a well marked low in south Bay of Bengal

The well marked low pressure is expected to intensify into a depression in the next 48hrs

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Monday, November 17, 2014

STH seminar on 'Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction' : 14Nov2014

                       
We would like to thank all those who travelled from distant shores and across rivers and valleys to attend our seminar - thanks to them the seminar went off wonderfully well.

Praful Rao,
Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling

Tuesday, November 11, 2014