Sunday, October 26, 2008
It is just this type of weather phenomenon that we should watch out and be prepared for.
Severe Weather Warnings
HEAVY RAINFALL WARNING
ISOLATED HEAVY TO VERY HEAVY RAINFALL IS LIKELY OVER COASTAL AREAS OF WEST BENGAL DURING NEXT 48 HOURS.ISOLATED HEAVY RAINFALL IS LIKELY OVER NORTH EASTERN STATES AND SUB-HIMALAYAN WEST BENGAL AND SIKKIM DURING NEXT 48 HOURS AND OVER ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS, KERALA ,TAMIL NADU & PUDUCHERRY AND NORTH COASTAL ORISSA DURING NEXT 24 HOURS. SQUALLY WINDS SPEED REACHING 55-65 KMPH GUSTING TO 75 KMPH ARE LIKELY ALONG AND OFF
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I had asked for some information from the district administration, regarding Landslide Hazards in Darjeeling district on 19Aug2008. Having received no reply by the due date, I queried the State Commission recently by email. Placed below is my RTI application and the reply
Monday, October 20, 2008
- 2008 was an extremely lucky year as far as landslides . With less than average rainfall in Jul/Aug and highly deficient rainfall in Sep2008 we escaped with just a few slides in the month of Jun2008.
Quite naturally (and very happily too!) there were no washed away bridges to photograph or grim stories to recall. Good for us and I hope we are as lucky in the years ahead too!!
- Hidden behind the seemingly dormant and inactive period, there has been a virtual storm in STH - with a flurry of behind the scene activities taking place:-
a) So on 21Sep2008, we had a meeting at the local community hall and STH today is an NGO. We are in the process of registering the body as a society. I will in the course of time post brief member profiles of all the STH executive members.
b) Besides working towards raising awareness about landslides in the Darjeeling and Sikkim hills, STH took on a different role on 18Oct2008.
Hearing the plea of a young hardworking but under-privileged student, Subash Chhetri, from Sinji a remote village in Kalimpong subdivision, who is currently doing his B. Tech (agriculture) in Uttar Banga Krishi Vishwa Vidylaya, Cooch Behar, STH raised money from donors and gifted the student with a laptop. The seven donors included individuals and institutions from Sikkim and Kalimpong.
We also used the occasion to remind people that it was the 40 anniversary of the Oct 1968 disaster in these hills when thousands died in landslides. To commemorate this, STH is organizing a national level workshop on Landslide Hazards in Darjeeling on 21 Nov 2008. Prof Leszek Starkel a world renowned geographer who has been studying landslides in this area for the past 40 years will be the Chief Guest as well as main speaker. Other resource persons will be drawn from North Bengal University, Border Roads Task Force and STH. Representatives from Sikkim will also attend. Officials from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and State Disaster Management Authority are also expected to attend.
I leave you with a photograph from the small ceremony where we gave away the laptop.
(That's STH Exec member, Ms Gayatri Kharel, a structural engineer presenting the laptop to Subash Chhetri, B Tech student)
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Actual rainfall Sep2007 : 771mm
Actual rainfall Sep2008 : 172mm
Average rainfall Sept : 368mm (http://wbagrimarketingboard.gov.in/Area/Rain.html)
- Placed above please find the rainfall data of Darjeeling for the month of Sep2007/08.
September is a month when the monsoons begin their withdrawal from the country as such the average rainfall for Sep is normally less than the 600mm odd which is the approx average for the other monsoon months. Yet, as is evident above the variation in the rainfall seems almost impossible to believe.
Is this caused by global warming?? I don't know but here are some astonishing facts which emerge from the above table:-
a) In Sep2007 we did have exceptionally heavy rainfall ie more than double the monthly average.
b) In 3 days (05Sep-07Sep2007) it rained more than the monthly average.
c) In Sep 2008 we had deficient rainfall ie less than half the monthly average.
d) On a single day (06Sep2007) last year, it rained more (187mm) than it did the entire month this year (172mm)
Little wonder then that all the major landslides in the district and Sikkim occurred between 05-7Sep2007 and it was providence alone that stopped the rain thereafter.
This year we have been exceptionally lucky as far as landslides go.. but let us not depend on the luck factor alone!!
Comment by praful rao
My thanks to Compuset Darjeeling for the rainfall data.