Sunday, June 26, 2011

Landslides in Pelling (West Sikkim) - 23Jun2011

Pelling in West Sikkim, was a quaint little town, better known for its breath taking views of the  Kanchenjunga ranges, the awesome beauty of the landscape which surrounds it and the numerous waterfalls.
Today, it is a tourist hotspot and as such over the recent years, multi-storey hotels and buildings have mushroomed in the town and so when it had a rather unwelcome visitor recently, people died.
A five hour torrential downpour (from approx 7.30pm to a little past midnight on 23Jun2011) in Pelling and its neighbourhood caused numerous relatively small, landslides in the region which nevertheless resulted in 16 or more deaths and again, the landslides  had a familiar commonality to most of those occurring in this region in the recent past - they were related to or caused by excessive human interference in these mountains.
According to an elder citizen of Pelling, he had not seen anything like this happen for the past 70yrs!

Comment by Praful Rao
The story and photos are from a citizen of Pelling who prefers to remain anonymous.
Also jhoras are natural rivulets or drains which today are a major source of soil erosion in the region since they are charged with large volumes of high velocity surface runoff rainwater  from increasing paved areas as the urban sprawl expands on the crests of mountains.

3 comments:

sanam said...

Mr. Rao, I have a question regarding land slides in specific parts of rural Kalimpong. I am not from the West Bengal region nor have I visited the area. I have friends in the Pakang (Samsing)/Dabling area of Kalimpong, I am not sure where it's located geographically from the main city of Kalimpong. I wanted to ask you if you were familiar with the region and aware of these areas being prone to land slides. Any information would be of great help. I visit your website frequently and am very interested in erosion causes/prevention. I hope to visit Kalimpong in the near future. Keep up the good work, sir.

savethehills said...

STH has over the years made a detailed assessment of the landslide situation in the vicinity of Kalimpong however it has not, due primarily to lack of resources, extended this study to other parts of the sub-division or district where we know the conditions are far from good.
We hope to do so in the near future when we get requisite funds.

shalaka joshi said...

hello sir,
your work is very nice.
I want some information regarding this landslide like slope and soil type and if there is any report for the same.

I am an Architecture student doing study on landslides.
So need this information .

Thank you...