Gov­ern­ment will as­sess the 2,674 gla­cial lakes in the coun­try

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

Af­ter the re­cent out­burst of Lemthang Lake of Laya on last Sun­day, it was the good les­son for the coun­try and now the gov­ern­ment will re­assess the 2,674 gla­cial lakes in­clud­ing the 25 dan­ger­ous lakes which in­clude Lemthang Lake as well.

Dur­ing the meet the press ses­sion last Fri­day, the Eco­nomic Af­fairs Min­is­ter, Ly­onpo Norbu Wangchuk, said that, the re­cent out­burst of the Lemthang lake was very good les­son. The Lemthang Lake is con­sid­ered one of the dan­ger­ous one out of 25 lakes that has cat­e­gories by the Depart­ment of Hy­dro-Met. We con­firmed that it plays to be pre­pared our­selves. Pre­pared­ness would safe life and the prop­er­ties. From there we drew lot of les­son and the ex­pe­ri­ences.

Ly­onpo added that, this out­burst of lakes help us to con­firm that our early warn­ing sys­tem that we have in­stalled es­pe­cially in the basin of Mochhu River is work­ing per­fectly and fine. Be­sides that the Gov­ern­ment will also study whether the ad­di­tional early warn­ing sys­tem was re­quired at the Mochhu basin stretch­ing from Tak­shi­makha to Pu­natshangchhu area.

“This was the real time in real sit­u­a­tion that we have op­por­tu­nity to taste our equip­ments”, said the Ly­onpo.

Ly­onpo pointed out that, they have learnt the les­son from the Hy­dro-Met that from the vis­ual sub­jec­tive as­sess­ment of the peo­ple that they were alarmed be­cause peo­ple saw the lake, huge tim­ber and huge boul­der are be­ing car­ried out, and more­over, the smell of the flood was very worse, but we as the Hy­dro-Met, through the in­for­ma­tion, it in­di­cated to us that noth­ing to be alerted.

Ly­onpo added that, the out­burst did not even reach to the alert level. There are two thresh­old, that in­cludes the alert level that when the rivers reaches to alarm level, it will alert peo­ple liv­ing in the con­trol room to be on their tools to mon­i­tor. The siren will go off and the peo­ple liv­ing in the down­stream would be alerted to be evac­u­ated but this Lemthang Lake out­burst did not even reach to alert level. How­ever, Ly­onpo added that, “we wanted to be ex­tra cau­tious”. So the siren that we trig­gered was not au­to­mat­i­cally by the ma­chine as that would have to reach to the alarm thresh­old.

We trig­gered man­u­ally solely be­cause we got re­ports that if there is a mul­ti­ple out­burst and se­condly there has been con­tinue rain­fall high up in the moun­tain, and then we thought that we needed to be ex­tra cau­tious. So we man­u­ally trig­gered the siren and this is the op­por­tu­nity to test our siren as well, said the Ly­onpo.

Ly­onpo said that Gov­ern­ment is also study­ing if there is a need of sim­i­lar early warn­ing sys­tem in the river basin to be in­stalled in the coun­try.

Since the siren was set on man­u­ally for the re­cent out­burst of the Lemthang lake, the Prime Min­is­ter Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay, said that the siren man­u­ally set on as there were re­ports of the se­ries of out­burst from Lemthang where they could add up and form a ar­ti­fi­cial lake.

Ly­onch­hen also added that, there was re­ports of hav­ing huge boul­der are be­ing brought down by the floods, more­over there were vis­ually those re­ported say­ing that there were many rocks and trees and this had con­firmed that the bridges stretched over the river are be­ing washed away.

Those who are watch­ing es­pe­cially at the hot spring side said that they had ex­pe­ri­enced the smelling of mud which in­di­cated that there is land­slide in the up­stream, although the wa­ter level did not reach to its alert level, we took the de­ci­sion to sound the siren man­u­ally, said the Ly­onch­hen.

Many huge boul­ders and the de­bris would have been blocked the Mochhu River and could have formed ar­ti­fi­cial dams. If that hap­pened, the wa­ter would be stored and there will be chances of hav­ing mas­sive flood like in the past, said the Ly­onch­hen.

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