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FLOODING IN NEPAL May 7, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Natural Environment.
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The floods that occurred in Western Nepal have described as the worst flooding in living memory.

The Times of India reports:

Thirteen people were killed as raging flood waters from the swollen Seti river swept away houses and farms near the tourist resort of Pokhara on Saturday. Around 40 people are still missing in the floods triggered by a glacial lake burst in north western Nepal, even as the swollen river smashed into huts and buildings.

The calamity occurred in the remote Kaski district, 200-km away from the capital, Kathmandu.

A number of shacks in Kharapani village were washed away in the deluge. Three foreign trekkers are among those dead. “Among the dead is Ukranian while three Russians are missing,” said superintendent of police Shailesh

An earlier report, like the BBC, had attributed the flood to an avalanche.

This video attributes the cause to a glacier lake outburst and observes climate change is happening:

This type of flooding, if correctly attributed does seem likely to related to climate change. According to the abstract from a relevant online publication:

Glacier thinning and retreat in the Himalayas has resulted in the formation of new glacial lakes and the enlargement of existing lakes due to the accumulation of meltwater behind loosely consolidated end moraine dams. Such lakes are inherently unstable and can be subject to catastrophic drainage (glacial lake outburst flood or GLOF), which is a potential source of danger to people and property in the valleys below them.

In my mind I was linking the La Nina effect that explains the wet summer we had with something similar with the monsoonal rains arising from the Indian Ocean resulting in heavier rain over the Himalayas which combined with the effects of melting glaciers combining to create the floods.

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1. wmmbb - May 8, 2012

Dear all!

As a video uploader of [ A Glacier Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) in Pokhara, Nepal (Full HD Video)] I am writing by to correct it as a Avalanche blockade which burst and took a form of flood and not a GLOF. Thank you Regards, Amrit Banstola on FLOODING IN NEPAL

Amrit Banstola
on 5/8/12

wmmbb - May 8, 2012

Thanks Amrit.

There is no way I have to assess causes for this phenomena. The fact of an avalanche, perhaps identified by aerial photography, does preclude climate change as the proximate cause. Glacier lakes seem to be inherently unstable. Increased rainfall would not help.

Regardless of the specific facts in this instance, all I can conclude is that climate change superimposed on normal variation will make these events worst and more frequent.


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