Amrita VishwaVidyapeetham installs landslide warning system at Chandmari

Gangtok, 22 Sep:

A media workshop on real time warning system for landslides was held today in the capital.

After successfully commissioning India’s first such system in Kerala’s Western Ghats,Amrita VishwaVidyapeetham [University], Kerala, is now readying a second installation in Sikkim to guard against rainfall-induced landslides in the Sikkim-Darjeeling belt. The project is jointly funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, and Amrita VishwaVidyapeetham.

Amrita’s new IoT (Internet of Things) system for landslides, being installed in Sikkim, is custom developed for Himalayan geology. It consists of over 200 sensors that can measure geophysical and hydrological parameters like rainfall, pore pressure and seismic activity. It will monitor a densely populated area spanning 150 acres around the Chandmari Village in Sikkim’s Gangtok District. This area has seen landslides in the past, the first one being reported in 1997.

The system collects real-time, continuous data from the sensors, performs basic analysis at the Field Management Center (FMC) located on the site in Sikkim, and relays it to the Data Management Center (DMC) at Amrita VishwaVidyapeetham in Kerala’s Kollam district. The university researchers are using this data to characterize and learn the geological and hydrological nature and response of the hill with respect to the dynamic and real-time meteorological variations to develop the Landslide Early Warning Model for that area.

To improve the system’s reliability and enhance the early warning duration, a three-level Landslide Early Warning Model has been developed. The first level, based on rainfall threshold, has successfully completed the testing phase and is ready to go live and issue alerts for potential landslides at the state level. In the second level, the system would generate a Factor of Safety (FOS) value for various points on the hill in real-time that will provide a more specific warning for the Chandmari region based on the rainfall, moisture and pore pressure sensor data from the field. In the third level, the system would use data derived from the movement and vibrational sensors to issue landslide detection warning.

Dr ManeeshaVinodini Ramesh from the university while addressing the program stated that this system can predict a landslide 24 hours in advance and has 24x7 monitoring. Her team has been working in Sikkim since March.

She further thanked the state government and local agencies for all the cooperation they have extended.

Dr VenkatRangan, also fromAmrita VishwaVidyapeetham, thanked all the stakeholders and wished that the Himalayan state reaps rich benefits from the newly installed system.

They also hope that this system will be placed in other states so that it can help in mitigating challenges of landslides.

They have also asked for support from local community to take ownership of such an important system being placed in their locality.