Saturday, June 18, 2011

One day of rain - 17Jun2011

It seems incredible that just a few days ago I was blogging (see here and here) about the deficient rainfall this year in the hills of Darjeeling and Sikkim (which has resulted in many of the perennial springs in this region drying up) and on17Jun2011, just a couple of days later, in a spell of rain lasting not more than 12hours, three children and a young father lost their lives to landslides in Kurseong (Darjeeling dist).
The rains also triggered a small slip near the 27th Mile, Stage III, NHPC Lo-Dam. Small though it was, it brought all the traffic on National Highway 31A to a grinding halt for 5 hours or more with 500 odd vehicles being stranded on either side of the slip.
The above incident speaks volumes of the state of our disaster preparedness or the lack of it, considering that in Feb2011, Severe Cyclone YASI, a storm bigger than KATRINA, smashed into Queensland in Australia but resulted in only one death thanks, to the excellent early warning and awareness amongst the people.
Miles to go before we sleep!
Some photos of 17Jun2011 are placed below :-

Rainfall stats of 17Jun2011:-

a) Kurseong :- 180mm (source STH ARG at Dow Hill, Kurseong)
b) Kalimpong :-31mm (source STH ARG at Tirpai, Kalimpong)
c) Darjeeling :- 54mm (source STH ARG at Gandhi Road, Darjeeling)

Comment by Praful Rao
My thanks to our young STH member from Kurseong, Bhushan Chhetri for the photos of Kurseong and the story.

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