Seti Flashflood Was Not Caused By Climate Change: Scientists

Oct 7th, 2013 | By | Category: Climatic Changes in Himalayas, Development and Climate Change, Disaster and Emergency, Disasters and Climate Change, Ecosystem Functions, Flood, Information and Communication, Nepal, Vulnerability, Weather

Seti in NepalRepublica: Experts have concluded that a devastating flashflood in the Seti River last year was not caused by climate change.

A report prepared after a yearlong by a panel of experts including scientists from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States, concluded that the sudden deluge in the river on May 5, 2012 that killed 77 people and rendered hundreds of people homeless in Kaski and other districts along the course, was not due to the effect of ´climate change´.

“The flood was the result of the geological changes in the Himalayan region,” said Dr Jeffrey Kargel, who is affiliated with NASA. “Disaster can occur even without the affect of climate change.”

According to him, an avalanche in the Mount Annapurna, the source of the Seti, had created a huge pool of water in a nearby gorge and the flood had resulted from the burst of the same pool. Kargel, who is also affiliated with the department of Water Resource in Arizona University, underscored the need to relocate the human settlement along the rivers in Pokhara Valley.

“Last year´s flood can be a sign of future disasters of high magnitude,” he cautioned.

Kargel opined that such disaster can to be averted but precautionary measures are the best remedies for the safety of lives and properties.

He also informed that the study showed little glaciers at the source of the Seti River.

Dr Krishna KC, professor of geography at Prithivinarayan Campus and a member of the study team, informed that they had studied satellite pictures, silts deposited by the flood, among other determinants, to reach to the conclusion regarding the cause of the Seti flood.

Dhananjaya Regmi, another member of the study team, who is also related with Himalayan Research Center, said that there is no tangible evidence to claim that the flashflood was triggered by climate change. “An avalanche occurs due to cracks and movements of the rocks in the Himalayan region. It is not solely due to climate change,” Regmi added.

Geological changes are taking place in the hilly regions around the world, and not only in Nepal. Kargel also linked the recent flood in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh as the cause of geological changes taking place all around the globe.

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