Kathmandu, April 23
Experts have warned of large number of landslides during the monsoon if moderate rainfall continues in the pre-monsoon season.
A landslide brought debris in the Arun River in Shankhuwasabha from the upstream area of the Barun River and blocked water flow on Thursday. The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said the landslide was caused by continuous rainfall for the last four days in the region, caused by local weather effects.
Engineering geologist and Associate Professor at the Central Department of Geology in Tribhuvan University Ranjan Kumar Dahal warned that the number of landslides will be higher than usual this monsoon whether or not there is heavy rainfall this season, if the pre-monsoon weather system remains active.
“Even mild rain can trigger a landslide if there has been incessant rainfall a month before,” He told The Himalayan Times, “So there is a high risk of multiple landslides occurring this monsoon.”
Dr Dahal said that if it continues to rain heavily for days with 10-day intervals of clear weather, the country will be at much greater risk of landslides.
Meanwhile, the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology has predicted weak monsoon this year, due to the formation of El Nino over the Pacific Ocean in Peru, and between Indonesia and South America. The department has also predicted rainfall for the next few days.
The El Nino weather system has a major impact on the Indian and Nepali monsoon season. A normal monsoon is vital for the country’s farming sector as a significant portion of the country’s agricultural land is rain-fed.
According to the DHM, Nepal’s weather is currently being affected by the Odisha-based low pressure area that is forming double low pressure areas in the hilly regions of the country. Westerly winds and local weather effects are also adding to the bad weather.
In Nepal, the monsoon season generally begins from June 10 and lasts until September 22 every year.
A version of this article appears in print on April 24, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.