KATHMANDU, August 4: Reports have shown that there are multiple reasons behind devastating floods and landslides in Melamchi River.
A devastating flood and landslide in Melamchi River on June 15 caused massive destruction in Helambu Rural Municipality and downstream villages of Melamchi Municipality. The flood and landslide also devastated the head works of Melamchi Drinking Water Project.
Following the massive flash flood and landslide in the area the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Nepal Engineering Association conducted separate studies. The reports have concluded that there are multiple reasons behind devastating floods and landslides in Melamchi River.
“There is not a single reason that triggered floods and landslides in Melamchi River”, said Arun Shrestha, Regional Program Manager of ICIMOD adding that multiple reasons triggered this level of destruction. “The Himalayan Lake has seen an outburst, there was heavy rainfall and a landslide followed soon,” Shrestha added. “Huge debris seems to have piled up earlier at Bremathang. A flood seems to have washed away some parts of that debris which caused massive destruction downstream.”
Likewise, the flood seems to have been blocked multiple times which later turned into a huge flash flood,” Shrestha said. “Meanwhile, the devastating earthquake of 2015 also played a vital role,” he added. ‘The earthquakes have also weakened the land structure of the area.”
Similarly, Professor Dr Bishnu Prasad Poudel of Institute of Engineering Studies also maintained that a single reason could not have triggered such a massive flood and landslide in Melamchi River. “Himalayan Lake burst does not seem to have triggered the massive destruction. Instead, the region received heavy rainfall for three to four days which caused landslides in the region. The landslide then seems to have caused flash floods which were blocked multiple times downstream,” Poudel said. “The earthquake of 2015, however, seems to have played a vital role.”