Another lake formed upstream, poses danger: Experts

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(This story initially appeared in on Feb 12, 2021)

DEHRADUN: Geologists of the Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garwal University (HNBGU) who’re conducting a survey of the Rishiganga space – from the place the flash floods began on Sunday have mentioned a water physique has formed close to the Rishiganga which might trigger floods once more.

This revelation got here at the same time as water ranges of the Rishiganga, which was flowing as a small channel on a stretch close to the catastrophe web site for the previous 4 days, rose on Thursday, resulting in a short lived halt in rescue operations and an alert being issued to villagers within the space.

In a video that he launched, with the hope that authorities see it and are conscious of the potential menace, professor Naresh Rana from the earth sciences division of HNBGU may be seen pointing at what he termed “a blue-coloured lake” that had formed close to the Rishiganga.

“I am here at a peak from where I can see the Raunthi and the Rishiganga streams clearly. It seems that the flash floods have come from the Raunthi stream. The flood created a temporary dam and because of this dam the Rishiganga is still blocked. I can also see a blue-coloured lake having formed in the distance, which means that water has been ponding here since long. This ponding is very stable and hence, I can assume that this lake extends far. From the point I am standing however, I cannot see its full extent,” he says in his video.

Rana added that the formation of the lake is a severe matter as “which means that the Rishiganga will breach once more and this will impression rescue operations too. We will go on this info to the administration in order that crucial motion may be taken. On our half, we may also try to go to the positioning the place the lake has been formed to get a greater concept of its dimension”.

Confirming the formation of a water physique upstream of the Rishiganga, Kalachand Sain, director of Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), mentioned that water accumulation was seen after an aerial view of the area was recorded by a WIHG staff that’s presently on the spot. “We cannot say as of now whether that water accumulation has triggered the current rise in the water level of the Rishiganga or Dhauliganga. I am yet to get the details of the size of the pond and reason of its formation. This can either be a new lake or an old one,” he mentioned.

Explaining what has occurred within the valley on February 7, director of the establishment mentioned, “A rock-mass at 5,600 meters above sea level broke from the main rock-mass. The hanging glacier overlying this chunk of rock also got broken and entire mass fell downstream. This has created a temporary dam and later converted into the disaster which was witnessed by the valley,” added the director.

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