Nepal seeks to drain glacial lake near Everest

2016-06-04 08:45


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Kathmandu - Nepali soldiers have kicked off efforts to partially drain a giant glacial lake near Mount Everest, fearing possible flooding that could threaten the lives of thousands, an army official says.

Scientists say climate change is causing Himalayan glaciers to melt at an alarming rate, creating huge glacial lakes which could burst their banks and devastate mountain communities.

Imja Tsho, located at an altitude of 5 010m just 10km south of the world's highest peak, is the fastest-growing glacial lake in Nepal.

The surface area covered by the lake expanded from 0.4 to 1.01km² between 1984 and 2009, triggering concerns that it may breach its banks and flood villages downstream.

"With the aim of minimising the risk of a possible outburst... the Nepal Army has begun efforts to lower the level of water in Imja lake by opening a channel," said army spokesperson Tara Bahadur Karki on Friday.

A mechanical gate will be installed and will be manually operated to control the water flow through the channel," said Karki.

The work began in April and the army expects to complete the project by the end of the year, he said.

Read more on:    nepal  |  climate change

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