Nepal | May 30, 2020

2.5 metres of water drained from Imja glacial lake

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:
File - Imja glacial lake in Solukhumbu district. Photo: THT

File – Imja glacial lake in Solukhumbu district. Photo: THT

Kathmandu, October 6

The government has successfully drained 2.5 metres of water from Imja Lake, one of the fastest growing glacial lakes in the Himalayas.

Nepal had begun draining water from the glacial lake around two weeks ago on September 24 to save over a dozen villages from the risk of glacial lake outburst flood.

A team from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology started work from 9:00 am of September 24 by releasing water through the lake’s main gate. Department of Hydrology and Meteorology informed that water level has decreased by 2.5 metres and water will be released until up to 3.5 metres is drained.

“We succeeded in mitigating the risk of glacial lake outburst flood by lowering the water level by 2.5 metres,” Rishi Ram Sharma, director general at the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology told The Himalayan Times.

Before starting the draining process, the department had alerted residents of villages located downstream from the lake about the dangers of rising water level in Imja Lake and the Dudhkoshi River. After maintaining normal flow, no incident has been recorded.

Sharma said the technical team is releasing water at the rate of three cubic metres per second, and the team plans to drain a total of 4 million cubic metres of water from the lake.

The project was initiated by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology under the 7.2 million dollar budgeted Community Based Flood and Glacial Lake Outburst Risk Reduction Project.

The project aims to reduce possible loss of human lives, property, and infrastructure from GLOFs in Solukhumbu and the downstream areas of Mahottari, Siraha, Saptari, and Udaypur.

The Nepali Army constructed the outlet gate to release water accumulated since June 1 this year. NA personnel had constructed a three-metre wide and 1.5-metre deep outlet channel to drain the water. As many as 40 personnel and 62 civilians were involved in the task.

The Nepali Army had completed the construction work in and around the lake a month ago.

After draining 2.5 meters, the glacial lake is 180 metres deep, two kilometres long, 650 metres wide, and is spread over 130 hectare. The surface area of the lake is said to have expanded from 0.4 to 1.01 square kilometres between 1984 and 2009 due to rapid meltingsnow.

An estimated 96,562 people are living in vulnerable areas downstream of Imja Lake.

Nepal is ranked the fourth most vulnerable country in the world to the impacts of climate change. A total of 3,808 glaciers and 1,466 glacial lakes have been identified in Nepal.

These include 21 potentially dangerous lakes, out of which six are at very high risk. Thso Rolpa and Imja Lakes are among them.


A version of this article appears in print on October 07, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Are we doing enough for the mental health of healthcare workers?

The number of coronavirus patients has been increasing over the past few days in Nepal. In the current scenario, it seems like the numbers would further increase in the coming days. Given that healthcare workers and frontline staff are the first responders to manage the ongoing pandemic with limited Read More...

MoHP briefing: Nepal witnesses exponential increase in COVID-19 cases

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates from across the country on government’s response to COVID-19 crisis. As of today, 64,154 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method and 105,478 Rapid Diagnostic Tests Read More...

Ministry of Home Affairs

Chaurjahari Incident: Govt-formed probe committee begins investigation

JAJARKOT: A five-member high level investigation committee formed by Home Ministry to probe the Chaurjahari incident has begun its investigation from today. The incident occurred when Navaraj BK along with his 18 friends reached Sothi in West Rukum district from Bheri Municipality in Jajarkot Read More...

19 COVID-19 diagnosed individuals discharged, 206 recoveries so far

KATHMANDU: As many as 19 persons earlier diagnosed with COVID-19, admitted at different health facilities across the country, have been discharged, following recovery, confirmed MoHP. Two patients receiving treatment at the Teku-based Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, have been d Read More...

Sagarmatha Diwas observed today

SOLUKHUMBU: Sagarmatha Diwas or Mt Everest Day was observed in the country today. The Day is marked in memory of the first-ever summit of the world's highest peak Mt Everest (8,848 metres) by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on May 29, 1953. It may be noted that Nepal Government decide Read More...

What’s behind latest India-China border tension

NEW DELHI: Tensions along the China-India border high in the Himalayas have flared again in recent weeks. Indian officials say the latest row began in early May, when Chinese soldiers entered the Indian-controlled territory of Ladakh at three different points, erecting tents and guard posts. They Read More...

Monkeys steal coronavirus blood samples in India

LUCKNOW: A troop of monkeys in India attacked a medical official and snatched away blood samples of patients who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, authorities said on Friday. The attack occurred this week when a laboratory technician was walking in the campus of a state-run medical Read More...

Little fear, lots of love as Madrid medics do home rounds amid pandemic

MADRID: With air kisses and palms clasped, elderly patients in Madrid greet medics who come to check them at home during the coronavirus pandemic despite the risks involved. "I don't know if it's right to say it but I've had little fear," primary care nurse Ana Arenal told Reuters after she Read More...