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Home / Cities / HP govt monitors fresh landslides near Parechu river in Chinese territory

HP govt monitors fresh landslides near Parechu river in Chinese territory

The breach in the glacial lake formed across the course of Parechu river in China had caused devastation along the banks of Sutlej in 2005.

cities Updated: Jul 16, 2020 18:13 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Hindustantimes

Fresh landslides on the course of Parechu river, a tributary of Spiti, across the international border in China occupied Tibetan Autonomous region has put the Himachal Pradesh government on alert.

The breach in the glacial lake formed across the course of Parechu river in China had caused devastation along the banks of Sutlej in 2005. The lakes in the catchment of Parechu river are regularly being monitored by the Himachal government also keeping in mind the rainy season. The monitoring is done by the State Centre on Climate Change (SCCC) of Himachal Pradesh Council for Science Technology & Environment (HIMCOSTE) by using satellite data from April to October every year during the ablation season.

Scientists have detected two fresh landslides in the periphery of Parechu Lake, however, there is no threat of lake breach.

The Parechu lake, a depression along the Parechu river in the Tibetan Himalayas, was formed after a massive landslide in 2004. Spiti river further confluences with turbulent Sutlej river at Khab in Kinnaur district. A breach in the lake had caused flash floods in the Sutlej basin in 2005.

SCCC joint member secretary Nishant Thakur said based on the satellite data for June, it has been observed that the accumulated water in the lake depression is flowing through the peripheral sides and with some on the upstream side. “The central part is comparatively free from any accumulation except a small portion on the downstream side. The inflow and the outflow seems to be normal,” he said.

From the satellite imagery, the scientist found two landslides along the river course—one on the upstream side of the depression on the left bank and the second on the downstream side of the depression on the right bank of the Parechu river. The satellite imageries also detected water accumulation along the river course on the downstream side.

“Landslide on the left bank on the upstream side also seems to be encroaching the river course, but no significant change in the river flow could be seen,” Thakur said.

“Based on the satellite data interpretation, there seems to be no threat from the Parechu Lake. However, it needs to be regularly monitored till it freezes,” he added.

The 2005 flashfloods caused by the breach in Parechu Lake had washed away bridges, 11 ropeways, and parts of the old Hindustan Tibet road, and several link roads. The damage was assessed to be worth ₹610 crore. However, no loss of life was reported. The lake again posed a threat in 2013 when the inflow into the lake increased suddenly. However, no breach occurred.

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