Tanyang, a tiny village (in Samalbung GP, Kalimpong 1) composed almost entirely of people from the Lepcha community is approximately 2hrs drive from Kalimpong. It is a village of farmers and as such, land being their most precious asset, the loss of 10-12 acres of land due to the landslides creates a huge dent on the earnings and livelihoods of the people.
I was rather surprised to hear of a recent landslide in the village because of the mild summer monsoons this year and a deficiency in rains in July and August 2022.
We were in the landslide affect areas adjoining the main village yesterday where we did a drone survey of the landslide.
A Google - Earth image of the landslide dated 1/1/2021 is placed below:
- It was initially triggered during the major landslide disaster of Oct 1968, which is totally believable since many of the old landslides started with this event.
- Some of the villagers said it was the Sep2011 Sikkim earthquake which had created the cracks and the fissures.
- Everyone seemed quite sure that the heavy rainfall on 26Aug2022 had caused the recent landslides which necessitated the evacuation of 10 families from the immediate vicinity of the landslide.
- Some said water was oozing out from inside the slide which probably caused the slide.
- One could safely rule out human activity as a probable cause. There is no urban built up areas here, population is low, no major road construction or other developmental activity. No jhora nearby which could have caused the erosion and the river at the base of the mountain is quite far and could not have caused toe erosion.10 families, including women and children had been evacuated and were housed in temporary structures and also in the ICDS building
Media report of the landslide is placed below:
Darjeeling Sikkim Himalaya