Four glacial lakes at risk of outburst in Sankhuwasabha


Four glacial lakes in Sankhuwasabha are at risk of bursting.

Of the 10 such lakes in the district, four including the Lower Barun glacial lake, are at high risk of outbrust, said International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.

ICIMOD’s Arun Bahadur Shrestha said Lower Barun Glacial lake, that is below Makalu base camp and the glacial lake at Bhatkhola Rural Municipality are at high risk of outburst. It is said that four glacial lakes in Sankhuwasabha and 17 in Tibet are at risk of outbrust.

Those 17 glacial lakes in Tibet drain into the Arun River that flows through Nepal. The Lower Barun glacial lake, which covers an area of 1.9 square kilometres, is 2.7 kilometres long and 600 metres wide. Of the 5,353 lakes in Nepal, 20 are at risk of outburst.

Settlements near the downstream are at risk due to the process of formation of new glacial lakes and the bursting of old ones in the Himalayas.

Stating that climate change has posed threat to the conservation of the Himalayas and the lakes, he underlined the need for collective action to resolve this problem. Chief of the Sankhuwasabha District Coordination Committee, Suman Shakya, said the Lower Barun glacial lake could be prevented from outburst if the course of the Barun River would be diverted towards its old course.

He called on all and sundry to forge coordination and take initiatives towards that end.

Shakya said the Sankhuwasabha District Coordination Committee would always be at the forefront regarding the initiatives for disaster risk mitigation and management caused by the glacial lake outburst. He added that the Barun River was at risk of draining into the lower Barun glacial lake.