According to the report, a few lakes have the potential to bulk up further and burst under the slightest provocation of weather, threatening the human population and infrastructure downstream the rivers just like 2013 when Chorabari lake sent water crashing into Mandakani(HT file photo)
According to the report, a few lakes have the potential to bulk up further and burst under the slightest provocation of weather, threatening the human population and infrastructure downstream the rivers just like 2013 when Chorabari lake sent water crashing into Mandakani(HT file photo)

Global warming creating dangerous glacier lakes in Himalayas, finds study

According to the report, a few lakes have the potential to bulk up further and burst under the slightest provocation of weather, threatening the human population and infrastructure downstream the rivers just like 2013 when Chorabari lake sent water crashing into Mandakani, a tributary of the Ganga.
By Prithviraj Singh | Hindustan Times, Dehradun
PUBLISHED ON OCT 15, 2015 05:09 PM IST

As the black clouds heavily pregnant with water vapour hovered over Dehradun on June 15, 2013, it looked ominous. Around 13,000 feet above the sea level, rain was already tanking up Chorabari Lake, a water body created by melting glaciers. On June 16 midnight, the heavy rain caused the lake’s rock bank to collapse, sending down a flash flood that swept through the holy Himalayan pilgrimage site Kedarnath, killing 5,000 people.

There are 1,266 such Chorabari lakes in Uttarakhand’s Himalayan regions, some of which have been created fresh by the rapid retreat of glaciers due to global warming, found a study by Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, an autonomous body of the central government.

These lakes are of different sizes — the smallest is of 500 square metres and the biggest of 2.4 lakh square metres, which is roughly 20 football fields put together — and are mainly scattered between the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda river basins, the two head streams of the Ganga, says the report titled ‘Glacier Lake Inventory of Uttarakhand’. But it is not the size, but the amount of water in a glacier lake that decides how deadly it is.

According to the report, a few lakes have the potential to bulk up further and burst under the slightest provocation of weather, threatening the human population and infrastructure downstream the rivers just like 2013 when Chorabari lake sent water crashing into Mandakani, a tributary of the Ganga.

Scientists engaged in the study said there seemed to be no immediate threat to human population from these lakes but they have to be constantly monitored.

DP Dobhal, the senior glaciology scientist of Wadia Institute, said: “Present study shows that glacier lakes are not very large in size but those formed by retreating glaciers mainly owing to climatic changes triggered by global warming can have damaging impact in future”.

“Their constant monitoring is needed in order avoid any future disaster-like situation,” said Dobhal

The study identifies 809 lakes as ‘ice dammed lakes’ meaning lakes surrounded by ice on all sides. 329 lakes are ‘moraine dammed lakes’, which are bordered by boulders and sediments -- and more dangerous. Around 635 lakes have been found in the Alaknanda river basin glaciers alone.

“For instance, the government must keep track of variations in Satopan and Yamunotri glacier lakes above Badrinath and Yamunotri temples. These are lakes bordered with large-size boulders and rocky materials similar to Chorabari lake above Kedarnath,” said AK Gupta, the director of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology.

“Several glacier lakes that have been identified in the study are located at places where human population exists. Now it’s for the stake holders or policy makers to take necessary measures,” said AK Gupta, the director of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology,

“We have provided a copy of out report to the state government,” he said.

The state government has sought better coordination between the central government institutions and state government in sharing information that will help state in framing its policies.

Chief minister Harish Rawat said: “There is no one to inform the state government about the latest status of Chorabari lake that caused disaster in 2013 at Kedarnath. Neither have we been informed about lake formation beyond Hemkund Saheb shrine”.

“There is a need for greater coordination between the Centre and the governments in sharing information like formation of glacier lakes in the state as only central government institution have expertise to identify them,” said Rawat.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Representational image.
Representational image.

Uttarakhand: Relative rapes minor in Mussoorie, arrested

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 04:19 PM IST
The girl’s parents reported the assault after they found she was bleeding. She was rushed to a community hospital and later referred to Dehradun
Close
Mahakumbh Mela IG Sanjay Gunjiyal briefing Mela police paramilitary officers in Haridwar.(HT Photo)
Mahakumbh Mela IG Sanjay Gunjiyal briefing Mela police paramilitary officers in Haridwar.(HT Photo)

Akhadas, seers oppose Uttarakhand govt’s fresh Mahakumbh SoP on Covid-19

By HT Correspondent, Haridwar
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 07:43 PM IST
  • The Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad has termed the restrictions as 'stern measures'.
Close
Rajeev Kumar, vice-chairman of NITI Aayog.(http://niti.gov.in/)
Rajeev Kumar, vice-chairman of NITI Aayog.(http://niti.gov.in/)

'For green bonus compensation, Uttarakhand should request UNEP': Niti Aayog VC

By Neeraj Santoshi, Dehradun
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:26 AM IST
  • Uttarakhand government has been seeking Green Bonus as compensation for the conservation of its forests by not expanding the industrial development.
Close
Congress’s Indira Hridayesh, the leader of the opposition in Uttarkhand assembly alleged it is a dangerous trend that the government didn’t take the opposition into confidence before taking such a crucial decision.(HT Photo)
Congress’s Indira Hridayesh, the leader of the opposition in Uttarkhand assembly alleged it is a dangerous trend that the government didn’t take the opposition into confidence before taking such a crucial decision.(HT Photo)

Not joining BJP': U'khand leader says she'll file case against rumour-mongers

By Ankur Sharma, Haldwani
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:20 PM IST
  • Indira Hridayesh, Uttarakhand leader of opposition, rubbished the rumours and said that she is in a very important position in Congress.
Close
Image for representation,(Sourced)
Image for representation,(Sourced)

Teen gets online task to 'kill someone', goes missing after attacking woman

By Kalyan Das, Dehradun
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 12:31 AM IST
  • The boy's link with the online platform came to light after police officials went through his mobile phone on Wednesday.
Close
Image for representation. (AP File Photo for representational purpose)
Image for representation. (AP File Photo for representational purpose)

In Uttarakhand, police to reward brides who say no to booze at their weddings

By Kalyan Das, Dehradun
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:30 PM IST
  • The initiative, Bhuli (sister in Garhwali language) Kanyadan, is the brainchild of Devprayag station house officer.
Close
Mahakumbh Mela IG Sanjay Gunjiyal briefing Mela police paramilitary officers on Thursday in Haridwar.(HT Photo)
Mahakumbh Mela IG Sanjay Gunjiyal briefing Mela police paramilitary officers on Thursday in Haridwar.(HT Photo)

Uttarakhand to seek additional force from Uttar Pradesh for Mahakumbh security

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Dehradun
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 03:58 PM IST
  • Three control rooms will also be made at three UP’s three districts of Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor and Saharanpur bordering Uttarakhand for effective sharing of information and intelligence.
Close
Uttarakhand high court has acted against a judge it believed to be guilty of misconduct.
Uttarakhand high court has acted against a judge it believed to be guilty of misconduct.

Uttarakhand civil judge used vehicle of accused for family trips, suspended

By HT Correspondent, Dehradun
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 07:44 AM IST
  • The HC found that the civil judge had separated the criminal case in his court filed against the accused without there being any valid reason.
Close
Representational image. (AP)
Representational image. (AP)

Black carbon aerosols on Himalayan glaciers could speed up melting: Scientists

PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 05:07 PM IST
The warning is based on the analysis of the three-year data from two observatories with aerosol monitors set up near Gangotri glacier in Uttarakhand in 2016 at a height of about 3,800 metres
Close
On Saturday, the Indian Navy carried out a joint operation with the Indian Air Force (IAF) where divers were sent to measure the depth of the lake in Chamoli district.(PTI file photo. Representative image)
On Saturday, the Indian Navy carried out a joint operation with the Indian Air Force (IAF) where divers were sent to measure the depth of the lake in Chamoli district.(PTI file photo. Representative image)

U'khand floods: Govt, other agencies hold crucial meeting to discuss lake formed

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 08:34 PM IST
The meeting was chaired by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla and attended by Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) chief SS Deswal and officials of the Uttarakhand government.
Close
The search and dewatering operation continues at the Tapovan tunnel, in Chamoli on Sunday. (ANI)
The search and dewatering operation continues at the Tapovan tunnel, in Chamoli on Sunday. (ANI)

Uttarakhand flash flood: Death toll reaches 69; 135 still missing

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Zara Khan
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 05:17 PM IST
About 70 SDRF personnel are searching for bodies in the river, while covering four districts of Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Tehri Garhwal and Pauri Garhwal
Close
Nanda Devi peak in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in Uttarakhand where the reported glacier burst caused Chamoli disaster on February 7.(Raajiv Kala/HT Photo)
Nanda Devi peak in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in Uttarakhand where the reported glacier burst caused Chamoli disaster on February 7.(Raajiv Kala/HT Photo)

Uttarakhand CM requests Union govt for glacier research centre in state

By Kalyan Das, Dehradun
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2021 07:40 PM IST
  • The demand comes months after the Centre decided to discontinue the Centre for Glaciology project in Uttarakhand.
Close
Heavy machinery being used by rescue workers in search and rescue operation in Tapovan.(HT Photo)
Heavy machinery being used by rescue workers in search and rescue operation in Tapovan.(HT Photo)

Chamoli disaster: 6 more bodies recovered; death toll reaches 68, 136 missing

By HT Correspondent, Dehradun
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2021 06:14 PM IST
  • Among the six bodies, five were found on Saturday late night while one was found on Sunday morning.
Close
DGP Ashok Kumar (centre) chairing the inter-state coordination meeting for Mahakumbh on Friday evening. (HT Photo)
DGP Ashok Kumar (centre) chairing the inter-state coordination meeting for Mahakumbh on Friday evening. (HT Photo)

Mahakumbh: U'khand Police to monitor social media, share intel with other states

UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2021 11:07 PM IST
Intelligence sharing between various agencies and states will take place to check any anti-national activities during the Mahakumbh.
Close
Image for representation.(Representative image)
Image for representation.(Representative image)

2 Uttarakhand men crushed to death under dumper after their bike hits Nilgai

By Mohan Rajput, Rudrapur
UPDATED ON FEB 19, 2021 09:15 PM IST
  • The men belonged to Ratanpura village under Bazpur police station and were on their way to Garjiya temple of Ramnagar in Nainital.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP