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.
In the bottom slide (with Colby College) STH President is 1 and Prof Roy 2.
An excerpt from the Telegraph on Project 'Landslip' is reproduced below :- "Darjeeling, Jan. 19: An international science
consortium has picked Darjeeling in north Bengal and the Nilgiris in
south India to test a new mechanism for landslide risk reduction through
better assessment, early warning systems, and improved community
Scientists from India, Italy, and the UK plan to combine terrain
geology with weather data to improve their understanding of landslide
dynamics and use that information for risk assessment and alert local
communities to potential hazard zones.
Tracts of the Darjeeling hills are highly vulnerable to landslides
that have killed many people over the years. In July 2015, more than 40
people died or went missing in landslides across the hills. Some areas
of eastern Sikkim will also be included in the project.
The scientists caution that their four-year project, funded by the
UK's Natural Environment Research Council, the Department for
International Development, through the Science for Humanitarian
Emergencies and Resilience programme, does not seek to predict
"First and foremost, we are not predicting landslides. What we are
doing is looking at and collecting information on landslide hazards,"
said Helen Reeves, the director of science for engineering geology with
the British Geological Survey.
The Geological Survey of India, a major partner in the project, will
provide the landslide data available for the area since 1899.
"One of the reasons for choosing this area is that data availability,
landslide susceptibility, and varied terrain conditions," said Saibal
Ghosh, the director of GSI. "Tea gardens here, too, have maintained
rainfall data for decades and it will also be useful."
Bruce Malamud, professor of natural and environmental hazards at
King's College, London, said: "The project will look at a combination of
things such as elevation, geology, and landslide susceptibility. We are
basically saying there could be an elevated chance here, and a reduced
The scientists plan to generate early warning systems to disseminate
potential hazard information among local communities. The Italian
National Research Council has already developed a forecasting system
that regularly alerts local governments.
The India project will also seek to involve district administrations
to reach out to communities, although the medium of communication is yet
to be determined. "We will look for what best suits the local
communities," said Malamud. "Maybe, we could work out a system that
could use text messages, social (media), smartphones, radio, or other
Scientists from India's Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, the UK
Met Office, Newcastle University, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche,
Italy, among other institutions are also collaborating on the project.
Praful Rao of Save the Hills, an NGO based in Kalimpong which is
working on natural disasters, said: "The very fact that an international
consortium is working on landslides in the region is a major
development. This would lead to a better understanding and preparedness
for risk reduction."
The project also plans to invite experts from Afghanistan to share experiences with regard to landslides." Praful Rao,
Cyclone 'NADA' has formed in the Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall in Tamil Nadu in the early hours of the morning on 02Dec2016. Thus far in 2016, we have had 3 Cyclones forming in the Bay of Bengal - Roanu, Kyant and now Cyclone NADA
Subsequent to the first meeting called by NDMA for the Formulation of a National Strategy on Landslide Risk Management, Component 'V' which is responsible for preparation of Mountain Zone Regulations and Policies met for two days in Kalimpong.
Being a member of this Component,I am extremely happy that the 6 member team could visit the Chibo-Pashyor landslide area in Kalimpong and also interact with affected members of the community in a focused group discussion.
For those interested, the following six major components have been formed for formulating the National Landslide Strategy by the NDMA :-
I. Generation of User-Friendly Landslide Hazard Maps
II. Development of Landslide Monitoring and Early Warning System (EWS)
IV. Capacity Building and Training of stakeholders
V. Preparation of Mountain Zone Regulations & Policies
VI. Stabilization and Mitigation of Landslides & Creation of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for Landslide Management
One of the central roles of STH has been spreading awareness about landslides - a hazard form whose impact on mountain communities has been neglected and under-estimated to a large degree the world over.
As such we have used every opportunity to engage with visiting teams both from India and abroad in the many landslide familiarization visits we have made over the years - records of all such visits are documented in this blog. In Oct 2016 as a part of this program, we took two visiting delegates of IIIT (Hyderabad) for a tour of landslides in and around Kalimpong on 08/09Oct2016. The institute is working on landslide prediction equipment which they would probably be installing in the Chibo-Pashyor landslide zone.
Extract of JTWC statement on Cyclone 'KYANT' :- ' UPPER-LEVEL ANALYSIS SHOWS A POINT SOURCE JUST TO THE EAST OF THE SYSTEM INTRODUCING SOME EASTERLY WIND SHEAR NOT
CONDUCIVE FOR REDEVELOPMENT. THE UPPER LEVEL ENVIRONMENT IS EXPECTED
TO REMAIN UNFAVORABLE AS THE DEEP-LAYERED RIDE BUILDS ESTABLISHING
PREDOMINANT EASTERLY FLOW ALOFT. THE REMNANTS OF TS KYANT IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE ON A TRACK TO THE WEST-SOUTHWEST ALONG THE
SOUTHERN PERIPHERY OF THE BUILDING DEEP-LAYERED RIDGE TO THE
NORTHWEST. THIS IS THE FINAL WARNING ON THIS SYSTEM BY THE JOINT
TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI. THE SYSTEM WILL BE CLOSELY MONITORED
FOR SIGNS OF REGENERATION.' Praful Rao, Kalimpong, Dist Darjeeling