Bad weather hinders survey of glacial lakes

- PRAGATI SHAHI, Kathmandu
Bad weather hinders survey of glacial lakes

Jun 12, 2015-

A team from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) which was mobilised to inspect the situation of glacial lakes along the Dudh Koshi and Tama Koshi river basins had to put off the mission on Friday owing to bad weather. 

DHM had decided to send a helicopter carrying the team of hydrologists and technical experts to survey the sites of glacial lakes to confirm if glacial lake outburst had anything to do with the sudden rise in the water level of Dudh Koshi. Glacial lake outburst is believed to have released huge amount of water into the Dudh Koshi, increasing its water level. Many downstream sttlements are said to be at high risk of flood and erosion.

ìWe were unable to determine if the rise in water level is related to the glacial lake outburst in the region,î said DHM Director General Rishi Ram Sharma. 

The team was tasked to inspect the Tsho Rolpa, Imja and other small glacial lakes along the Dudh Koshi river basin. 

The hydrological station at Dudh Koshi River in Solukhumbu which had measured the water discharge from the river at around 100 cubic metre per second on Wednesday night registered a  significant rise of water discharge  (600 cubic metre per second) shortly before midnight. 

The downstream villages, including Rambuwa Bazaar,  almost 80 km downstream from the origins of many small and large glaciers, have witnessed flood-related damages to infrastructure, but there has not been any casualties.

ìThe water level in Dudh Koshi recorded sharp rise from 2.4 metres to 4.5 metres in a matter of 30 minutes. This event has led us to believe that there might be possible glacial lake outburst,î Sharma said.   

DHM has been regularly assessing the status of the glacial lakes that are at risk of bursting. Imja and Tsho Rolpa glacial lakes are considered highly vulnerable because they are located in the earthquake-hit region. 

(With inputs from our correspondent Abadhesh Kumar Jha)

Published: 13-06-2015 08:54

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