Risk averted ‘for time being’Averting a possible danger, water level in the Imja glacial lake in Solukhumbu district has been lowered by two metres.
Averting a possible danger, water level in the Imja glacial lake in Solukhumbu district has been lowered by two metres.
The Nepal Army started its work to drain the water off the glacial lake on September 23. Top Bahadur Khatri, manager at the Community Based Flood and Glacial Lake Outburst Risk Reduction Project, said the water level was decreased by two metres by Saturday.
Imja Tsho, which is situated at an altitude of 5,010 metres above sea level, is one of the fastest growing glacial lakes and is at a high risk of bursting. The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, with the Army’s support, is planning to lower the lake’s water level by 3.4 metres to minimise the risk. The United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility are also offering technical and financial support.
“It is expected that the Imja water level will be lowered by 3.4 metres by Tuesday,” said Khatri, adding that the threat of the lake bursting out was averted for the time being. It had been feared that there could be danger in downstream settlements while draining out water from the glacial lake. But no untoward situation has been reported so far.
In 2000 in Dolakha district, Tsho Rolpa, another critical glacial lake that threatened to breach its unstable moraine dam anytime, was reduced by three metres with the help of a 70m long canal that channelled water into the Rolwaling river.