Saturday, December 26, 2009

Automatic rainfall gauge installation at Kalimpong

Automatic rainfall gauges (ARGs) and Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) will certainly help us bolster our preparedness against landslides during periods of heavy rain during the monsoons in the future. STH had written to India Meteorological Department, Kolkata regarding installation of these in Kalimpong, their reply is placed below.
Darjeeling/Gangtok already have AWIS and their read out is available here

Praful Rao

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A milestone .. STH wins the Manthan Award

Please refer the earlier blog.
STH was presented the Manthan Award in the evening ceremony on 19Dec2009 at NCUI auditorium, New Delhi -  for the innovative and imaginative use of the blog/ SMS in bringing the serious problem of landslides in the Darjeeling - SIkkim Himalayas to a world audience; also for initiating a community basic early warning about heavy rain using the SMS.

Praful Rao

Saturday, December 19, 2009

STH at the Manthan Awards South Asia 2009 (MASA 09)

Digital Empowerment Foundation ( is a Delhi based which hosts the Manthan Awards (  The Manthan Award is a first of its kind initiative in India to recognize the best practices in e-Content and Creativity and now includes all the SAARC countries.
STH has been shortlisted for the awards by DEF as such 4 STH members ie (Praful Rao,President along with Aachal Tamang, Bhushan Chhetri and Hemkar Rana) are in Delhi attending MASA.

Praful Rao

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A quote from Carl Sagan

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
It is up to us."
- Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
American astronomer

Saturday, December 12, 2009

An Eye in the Sky :TRMM

The Tropical Rain Measuring Mission is  a joint space mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) designed to monitor and study tropical rainfall.
The website ( is one of the MUST SEE stop overs of STH and is used along with that of India Meteorological Department ( to send out SMS alerts on heavy rainfall warnings.
The photo above shows Cyclone "WARD" as it brews off the coast of Tamil Nadu today - IMD has already issued a severe weather warning for the area.

Praful Rao

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A distinct honour..collaborating with Prof Leszek Starkel

Prof Leszek Starkel, is a legendary figure amongst geomorphologists whose interest in landslides in this part of the world spans many decades. He was our main speaker last year in Darjeeling and exactly a year later he was with us on 21Nov2009 during our workshop in Kalimpong.
While interacting with him during the day's proceedings, Prof Starkel invited STH to  to co-author an article with him for a scientific journal. He has since reached home (Krakow, Poland)  from where I recd the letter below :-
"Thank you so much for your  invitation and interesting discussion during workshop in Kalimpong. I hope that the joint paper will be realized. Next week I will write you details about structure of paper and needed records on rains, landslides etc.

with best regards
Leszek Starkel"

Praful Rao