Nepal Drains Dangerous Glacial Lake Near Mount Everest

Posted: Oct 31 2016, 11:31am CDT | by , Updated: Nov 1 2016, 11:49pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 

Nepal Drains Dangerous Glacial Lake Near Mount Everest
Photo Credit: Getty Images
 

A flooding would have a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of people living in nearby villages.

Glacial lakes are formed when glaciers melt away and warming temperature is a main cause of the rapid melting of glaciers.

Imja Tsho is one of those thousands lakes in Nepal that are formed by the melting of Himalayan glaciers and pose a threat for thousands of lives if they turn into a flood and start to flow downwards on paths and bridges. 

Imja Tsho lake first begin collecting glacial meltwater in the 1960s. Originally, it was covering an area of around 49 square kilometers, but the surface area expanded to nearly 1000 square kilometers between 1984 and 2009.

The fastest-growing glacial lake of Nepal is just 10 kilometers south of the world’s highest peak Everest and two powerful earthquakes last year have raised deep concerns about the flooding. Therefore, Nepal kicked off an effort to partially drain this glacial lake near Everest in April 2016. After six months of rigorous work, the water of the lake is lowered by 3.5 meters, meaning more than five million cubic meters of water has been drained out of the lake.

“Draining the lake was on the priority of the government because of its high risk. We have successfully mitigated a disaster right now.” Top Bahadur Khatri, the project manager of the Community Based Flood and Glacial Lake Outburst Risk Reduction Project said in a statement.

For this purpose, a 45 meter long tunnel was constructed to control the discharge of water and a team of 40 Nepali soldiers and local workers were recruited to complete the project.

“Because of the wind, snow and thin air, we could work only two or three hours a day. It was a challenging task.” Khatri said.

Nepal is a home to more than 3,000 glacial lakes, of which Imja Tsho is one of the lakes regarded as highly risky. If triggered, flooding would have a devastating impact on the lives of more than 50,000 people living in nearby villages as well as the region itself.

 

 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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