Glacial lakes in the Himalayas are more dangerous

Glacial lakes in the Himalayas are more dangerous Danger Zone

Curious enough to watch the Imja glacier lake grows clumps of snow falling from the mountain tops. But the lake is one of the most dangerous areas in the Himalayas.

If the lake, situated at an altitude of 5100 kilometers in Nepal, breaks through the glacial deposits, known as moraine, it will flood the area at a distance of 60 miles, flooding the fields and houses of coal dust (culm) up to 15 meters high. But the issue is more likely is not, under any circumstances, but when it happens.


Mountain regions from the Andes to the Himalayas warming faster than the land on average. When Edmund Hillary made a successful expedition to the Himalayas in 1953, Imja did not exist. Now it is the largest lake in Nepal. The width is 600 meters and reaches about 100 meters deep. Imja growing annually by 47 meters.

Japanese geographer Teydzhi Watanabe said that the lake is becoming more dangerous. "We need to take urgent measures in the next 5 years. Time is short, and the 10-year period, which seemed recently enough to be destructive. "

Unlike flash floods, glacial lakes are a threat for long periods. "Every year, landslides cause glacial lakes, reminding people of the surrounding areas of constant danger. Some lakes in Tibet spilled three times, "- said Sharad Joshi, a glaciologist at the University of Kathmandu.

However, movement of equipment at a distance of 5100 meters from the ground and tiring trek of several days without transportation hubs is a big challenge for Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world. Locals say that the government and scientists for many years been discussing the need to do the Imja lake, but the case has not yet come.

Mountain Institute was about to convene experts from the Andes to address the issue, as do peruviytsy containment glacial floods of 1940, when the disaster killed about 10,000 people. According to glaciologist Tsezara Portocarrero, who led the drainage and accompanying work in more than 30 glacial lakes in Peru: "Working with the Imja is a challenge for us. It is not easy to find people who are able to work at great heights and move equipment. Need to develop a thorough plan of work in various weather conditions. " To all, not only the Imja lake in the Himalayas, requires special attention. Only in Bhutan has about 2,700 lakes. Three lakes, known as complex moon, on the verge of cascading floods far more dangerous than the glacial deposits in the Imja.

British scientist, John Reynolds, says that the reason for the attention to the Imja lake is that it is in close proximity to Everest and popular tourist destinations.

According to Nepalese Imja is one of 12 lakes with high risk and one of the 6, proliferating at an incredible rate. However, Reynolds explained that the growth of lakes is not an indicator of its danger, because at the moment there is in the world and grows a lot of glacial lakes. "The question is how to determine the degree of danger."

Imja was surrounded by a moraine, unlike most of the glacial lakes, which are the result of the tsunami at high altitudes. When large blocks of ice fall from the top, they cause strong waves that wash over the moraine. Sprawl is Imja gradual.

Watanabe said that in the next 1-2 years, a disaster can be contained, however, there are already signs that the outlet of the lake greatly expanded. Therefore, Nepal and international organizations need to seriously address the issue of Lake Imja.

Video: Guardian

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