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Sunkosi Landslide Should Not be Taken Lightly
|by V. K. Joshi (Bijji)|
Kosi River, a major and powerful tributary of the Ganga, is made of seven rivers, viz. Sunkosi, Indravati, Bhote Kosi, Doodh Kosi, Arun, Barun and Tamur. Out of these seven rivers, Sunkosi alone supplies 44% water to the mighty Kosi. Sunkosi is born as Mtsang-Tsangpo in Tibet, across Gosainthan mountain range and cuts a deep gorge in southern Tibet to enter Nepal. There it flows in the valley between Mahabharatha range and Himalaya, till it meets the main river. Thus, it is a river that cuts across two countries before entering India.
The dam thus formed was according to experts 409m long, 106m wide and 55m high. The total volume of the lake has been estimated as 8 million cubic meters. The Nepalese authorities quite dexterously punctured the dam in a controlled manner, so as to release water slowly and gradually. Had this dam burst in one go, the results could have been disastrous.
The dam at Gohna had burst only partially then. It was in 1970 again when the dam burst completely there was a total mayhem downstream.
Because of the climate change, there are possibilities of extreme events; therefore, such mishaps are bound to occur greater might and frequency. In order to mitigate the problem for now and look for long term management, David Petley, an expert in hazard management at Durham University, UK has suggested evacuation of the population downstream of the dam and controlled release of water from the lake. This is risky, because if there is a sudden outburst, the huge mass of water hurtling down the river can destabilize the slopes by increased toe erosion. If this happens there will be massive landslides all along, bringing further doom for the downstream areas.
|More by : V. K. Joshi (Bijji)|
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09/10/2014 23:55 PM
09/09/2014 15:41 PM