Mahakali embankment fortified at KhalangaAlthough the water level in the river has been receding since Sunday evening, the threat of the river breaking its embankment is still high.
Repair works on the under-construction embankment in Khalanga, the district headquarters of Darchula, have begun to mitigate the risk of floods and inundation in the settlements scattered along the Mahakali riverbanks.
Although the water level started receding on Sunday evening, officials at the river control project say the threat of the river breaking its embankment is still high.
“There was a danger of floodwaters breaching the embankment and entering the Khalanga area. We managed to prevent erosion in the Bangabagad area by using gabions,” said Shovakar Paudel, chief at the project.
“Immediate threat of floods and inundation has been averted for now but this is just the beginning of the monsoon season. We have to stay prepared,” said Paudel.
Incessant rainfall over the past week had led to the swelling of the Mahakali river that flows through mountains, hills and the Chure area from Dharchula to Kanchanpur in Sudurpaschim Province.
Workers are preparing gabions with stones and using sand-filled sacks to increase the height of the embankments to prevent a flooding of the settlements, said Paudel.
The area from Ringetal to Kailashpati Secondary School in Khalanga is at high risk of floods from the Mahakali river. According to the project office, the river has tremendous pressure in the Ringetal area as the current has been diverted due to landslides upriver.
“The river is narrow with strong currents in the Ringetal area. The water pressure can cause damage downstream,” said Paudel.
The authorities have rebuilt the embankments in Khalanga swept away by the flooded Mahakali river in 2013 to prevent floods in the district headquarters but a majority of settlements along the Mahakali are protected only by temporary embankments.
The recently-constructed embankments in Khalanga are still exposed to the dangers of erosion in case of landslides in Khotila area of Dharchula, India.
“Small landslides have been reported from Khotila area in the last few days,” said Paudel.
According to the river control office, water level measuring six metres spells danger.