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