20 September 2022
Save the Hills: a documentary about the impact of a landslide on Tanyang village
Save the Hills is a wonderful NGO that raises awareness and helps in the management and mitigation of landslides in the Darjeeling-Sikkim area of northern India. It runs an excellent blog – probably the best example of a community awareness raising of which I’m aware. I’ve been fortunate to visit once, but would love to go back.
One of their current projects focuses on Tanyang, a remote village two hours from Kalimpong. The village is located at 27.006, 88.494. Tanyang is being affected by a major landslide that is removing land at a prodigious rate, threatening the livelihood and wellboing of the population. This is the site as viewed on Google Earth, with the landslide clearly visible:-
The terrible rate at which this landslide is removing land is evident from earlier Google Earth images. The view below is from January 2010 – the change in the landslide over 12 years is dramatic:-
Save the Hills has posted a short article about the landslide, suggesting that major movement was initiated by the September 2011 earthquake. There are signs of instability at the site prior to this, but the Google Earth imagery does show a major change in the slope at around this time.
The team at Save the Hills has compiled an excellent video about this landslide and, importantly, its impact on the local people. This video has been posted to Youtube:-https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yF5RJJvnUrLcGmqGhbCW6iNFwuu9yrY0/view
Hopefully you’ll be able to view the embedded video above. I think that this is a really excellent piece of work, showing the dramatic impact of an event such as this on the local population. As the video highlights, the greatest asset that these people possess is the land on which they live. The landslide is stripping that from them, and displacing them from their homes to live in small tin sheds.
This pattern is repeated in many locations. There is rarely any substantial level of relief for the affected people.