(English) Avalanche induced Seti flash flood: NASA

An ox being swept away by the flood: File photo:
An ox being swept away by the flood: File photo/

KATHMANDU, Nepal–The disastrous Seti flash flood that claimed 72 lives and left dozens homeless less than two years ago was the consequence of a rockslide in the Seti-River gorge which produced an artificial lake, US-based National Aeronautical System Administration (NASA) revealed after accomplishing a field research.

The article, written by University of Arizona hydrologist Jeffrey Kargel and published on Friday in the Earth Observatory, a NASA affiliated publication, reaffirmed what many thought to be the case.

Satellite images have brought out that the Seti Gorge, the origin of the Seti River in the foothills of the Annapurna IV mountain range, had went through smaller rock falls and other eroding events over the previous decade, though the larger instance, taking place on May 5, was almost certainly responsible for the calamity.

Shortly after the calamity, experts representing national and international scientific communities expressed their views regarding the likely cause of the catastrophic incident, with some categorizing it as a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood.

The deadly event that took place on the morning of May 5, 2012 in Pokhara Valley’s Seti River was the result of an ‘artificial reservoir’ took shape following the damming of snow and ice melt which was later aggravated by a mighty avalanche on Annapurna IV.

The Seti River originates from the Seti Gorge located between Mt Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges in Kaski district.

According to the latest findings shared by Kargel and based on information gathered from frequent field visits, satellite images and local interviews, the research team observed direct evidence of avalanche-boulders and streams of debris emanating from the base of Annapurna IV to the head of the enormous Seti River Gorge.

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