Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hemkar moves on...

I am deeply saddened to announce the demise of one of the youngest (34yrs) members of the STH family.
Hemkar passed away on 30Jul2010 after battling a malignant tumor in the brain for many months.
He was the most computer and internet savvy person in STH as well as a good photographer and we will miss him dearly.

Praful Rao

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Busy days..third week of Jul2010

The past few days have been busy.
Heavy showers at least two small landslides within Kalimpong town and we were also involved with several awareness camps including a large one at Pedong (Kalimpong) where the Pedong Protection Committee had invited us to talk on landslides on 25Jul2010.

Praful Rao

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meeting with (CNI) Church of North India (Disaster Management Cell) - 17July2010

STH held a meeting with members of the newly formed Disaster Management Cell of the Church of North India (McFarlane Memorial Church), Kalimpong at the DISHA centre on 17Jul2010. After giving them a detailed run down of the landslide situation, rainfall statistics etc it was decided that STH would work together with CNI on a series of awareness camps around Kalimpong town intially - targeting the most vulnerable and populated areas first. Thereafter these camps would be carried out in the outlying areas of the subdivision.

Praful Rao

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jun2010 rainfall analysis.

For the second consecutive monsoon month (ie May and June 2010) we have received deficient rainfall in the district - even though with the deficiency has reduced from 43% (see here) to 25% thanks to the rainfall towards the month end.
What is evident, is that in all the three towns we have received no rain (or had only a trace) for roughly half the month (ie17days) and the trend is to have sharp peaks of high intensity rainfall - which is bad news for us because it is just this sort of extreme event which triggers off landslides.
The month's rainfall data from 3ARGs at Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong is placed below:-

Sunday, July 4, 2010

STH Activities : Working with students ,03Jul2010

From the vantage point of location, what was achieved in a 30 min talk, I am sure 20 classroom lectures would have never have done.
It was possible for the 170 children to see at least 3 major landslide zones on the eastern face of Kalimpong town and also observe the cause of the slides viz the tremendous developmental activity which is taking place on the Kalimpong ridge line.
Like in all other towns of the district, urbanization at the crest is taking place at a frenetic pace, leading to a huge increase in the volumes of surface run-off (rain) water. This eventually finds its way into the natural drains or jhoras which are incapable of handling both the volume and velocity of water - resulting in uncontrolled erosion and scouring. Right now this is taking place in rural areas and at the base of the hills but unfortunately the slides are creeping upwards towards the densely populated urban areas.

Praful Rao
My grateful thanks to the St Augustine School Alumni Association for enabling us to do what is one of STH's primary roles - sensitizing the student community.