SaveTheHills(STH) is a group of concerned citizens who are raising awareness about landslides in Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya.
Many landslides are the direct or indirect result of human interference and preventable if sufficient care is taken.
As such, unless we begin a comprehensive and sustained program towards landslide management, prevention and mitigation, the consequences of ignoring years of human callousness will, in the future be devastating.
Reference is made to this
Subsequent to the two day program conducted last year in Darjeeling, the GSI and Govt of Bengal are launching another series of contact programs at various places in Darjeeling district (see program above).
Considering that this region is one of the most landslide prone in the country (see map below), I find this initiative laudable. I only hope there is a good response from the local people and officials (which was sadly missing last year).
It will be a pity if political interference impedes disaster awareness programs and initiatives.
A number of low pressure areas developed in the Bay of Bengal in Aug 2016 but we received little rain from these systems and went deficient in rainfall from the first week till the end of the month. Early in Aug 2016, what has been described as local event dumped 95mm of rain on the Chungthang-Mangan highway at Lantha khola, it caused a major landslide which breached the road.
A photo of the same is placed below.
As I write, this storm is very active over south Bengal where there is continuous but moderate rain, in Kalimpong we have thundershowers. Update on the above storm (22Aug2016)
The thunderstorm continued well into the night; rainfall data is given below. One person died in a fatal landslide at Samrik Paani, Pokhriabong, Darjeeling last night and NH10 which is an arterial highway linking Siliguri with Gangtok was blocked at Likhu Bhir (see below) and 10 other places.
Rainfall data of 21Aug2016 (in mm)
21Aug2016 started off as a hot sunny day. It clouded up in the afternoon and in Kalimpong it rained from approx 1530h till about 2130h.
Kalimpong : 45
Kurseong : 95.8
Siliguri : 18
Mal Bazar : 95
Gangtok : 14.8
Darjeeling : 74.6
All images post by Dr SS Porwal on 'Landslide Management' WA group. I have sharpened the images and increased sizes in PS.
Water level in the dam seem to be fluctuating, it had dropped 7' yesterday morning but increased by 5' later in the day.
GSI estimates the landslide, which is said to be a rock avalanche to be 1km long and width 572m. As per reports from the site, the slide is still active with large rocks still sliding down occasionally.
The landslide dam has been breached and the outflow from the dam and water levels in the pondage are being monitored continuously.
1. No casualties so far.
2. Administration has started 'miking' along some areas of NH10 which might be affected if the landslide dam bursts or overflows, this entails passing the message on vehicle borne PA systems. The important thing here is to avoid creating panic.
3. NDRF has been dispatched to the area.
4.Geologists and Disaster Management officials will survey area today.
5. Info from locals - the Kanaka river has already overflown the dam (not verified)