Nepal Army (NA) has started digging channels to release water from the Imza Lake that poses serious threat of outburst in the Everest region.
The lake, which is at situated at an altitude of 5010 meters near Mt Everest, is the second largest glacial lake in the country after Tso Rolpa.
It poses risk to over 56,000 people residing in the lowlands stretching up to 50 kilometers downstream.
“As part of mitigation measures, we have started digging channels to release water from the Lake,” said Brigadier General Tara Bahadur Karki, who is also the spokesperson of NA. He informed that the army has started the work since April 13 after requests from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DoHM) to mitigate the risk.
According to army spokesperson Karki, three meters of water from the lake will be released by December this year. The NA has deployed 31 soldiers including engineers and 65 locals to release water from the fastest growing lake, which spreads across 1.28 kilometers in diameter and is 150 meters deep. Karki informed that the army has airlifted heavy equipment including excavator to the Imza lake to release the water.
Officials at the DoHM said that the lake posed serious threat to the people residing downstream, which includes villages like Dingboche, Sukum and the entire villages along the Kohi River belt and up to Inaruwa bazar.
“The rising temperatures pose serious risk of lake outburst,” Dr Rishi Ram Sharma, director general at the DoHM, said, adding that the lake has been expanding every year. He informed that the DoHM will also place early warning system in the villages, which are at risk of the lake outburst.
According to Director General Sharma, there is more than 80 million cubic meters water in the lake. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has provided technical as well as financial support of US$ 7.2 million to mitigate the risk of outburst.