Nepal | May 29, 2020

Water being drained out of Imja Lake

Share Now:

Kathmandu, September 24

To save over a dozen villages from the risk of glacial lake outburst floods, Nepal has begun draining water from Imja, one of the fastest growing glacial lake in the Himalayas, in Solukhumbu.

A team from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology started work from 9:00 am today by releasing water through the lake’s main gate.

The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said. “We have succeeded in releasing water from the lake and will continue the work for a week to lower the water level in the lake by up to 3.5 metres,” Director General at the department Dr Rishi Ram Sharma told The Himalayan Times, adding, “We have also alerted villagers of villages located downstream from the lake to the dangers of the rising water levels in Imja Lake and the Dudhkoshi River.”

Dr 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 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.

Spokesperson of the Nepali Army Tara Bahadur Karki said it was NA’s first experience in a disaster risk mitigation programme. “Although we have been involved in various rescue operations, working for disaster risk mitigation at a height of 5,010 metres was a first,” he said.

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

The glacial lake is 180 metres deep, two kilometres long, 650 metres wide, and is spread over 130 hectares. 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 the rapid melting of snow. An estimated 96,562 people are living in vulnerable areas downstream of the Imja lake. The programme to drain the lake water was funded by United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility.

Nepal is ranked as the fourth most vulnerable country in the world due to the impacts of Climate Change. A total of 3,808 glaciers and 1466 glacial lakes have been identified in Nepal. These lakes include 21 potentially dangerous lakes.

A version of this article appears in print on September 25, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Cases registered against two lockdown violators in Udayapur

GAIGHAT: Police have registered cases against two youths who were arrested on Tuesday for violating lockdown in Udayapur district. The arrested have been identified as Surendra Gupta and Rakesh Sah, both in their 30s. Lalpatta-based police post arrested the duo after they were found bringing t Read More...

Police recover two muzzle-loader guns in Kohalpur

NEPALGUNJ: Armed Police Force personnel recovered two abandoned muzzle-loader guns in Kohalpur Municipality-8 in Banke district, today. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Shyam Kumar Karki said that they recovered the weapons along with ammunition, shrapnel shells, and other items under Sikta Read More...

KJo plays 'rapid fire' with his twins

KATHMANDU: Bollywood filmmaker and TV show host Karan Johar is back with the 'rapid fire' round of his 'Koffee With Karan'. And his guests are none other than his two children — Yash and Roohi. In his latest video posted on his Instagram, Johar is seen playing his popular rapid fire round with Read More...

Mumbai Police tweets stay at home meme featuring Gulao Sitabo still

MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana has replied to the COVID-19 meme inspired by his upcoming film, Gulabo Sitabo, which has been shared by Mumbai Police. Mumbai Police on their official account tweeted a still from the film, featuring Ayushamann with his co-star Amitabh Bachchan. Read More...

Chaurjahari Incident: Body of fifth youth found on Thursday; one still missing

JAJARKOT: The body of the fifth victim of Chaurjahari incident, where Dalit youth Nawaraj BK and his friends were attacked by the villagers in Soti of Rukum West on Saturday, was found today in the banks of Bheri River. With the recovery of Sandeep BK's body from Kalabhir of Chinchu-Jajarkot road Read More...

GSK says science does not link pandemic H1N1 flu vaccine to sleep disorder

LONDON: British drugmaker GSK said on Thursday that its previous flu pandemic vaccine, which used some of the same ingredients as COVID-19 vaccines currently under development, was not linked to a rise in cases of the sleep disorder narcolepsy. A spokesman for GSK said the "science has mov Read More...

Bale questions critics of golf hobby

BARCELONA: Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale says he is still confused that his love for playing golf has caused such a stir in Spain and questioned why other elite sportsmen are not criticised for playing the game. Despite winning four Champions League titles with Real and scoring crucial g Read More...