Nepal quake may weaken moraine dams, say scientists

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Kathmandu, May 3: Moraine dammed lakes may also have weakened during the earthquake of 7.9 magnitude that hit Nepal on April 25, which could result in floods in future, scientists said on Sunday.

"The threat of further landslides and glacier lake outbursts may increase as snow begins to melt and the monsoon kicks in," Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) said in a statement.

Nepal earthquake

With presence around the world like China, Japan, The Netherlands and the US, the institute is monitoring landslides, glacier lakes and river courses by analysing the latest satellite images and communicating the findings to the Nepalese government and relief agencies.

Some slopes may have been destabilised by the earthquake, which could lead to other landslides. "There is an urgent need to assess the impact of landslides for immediate rescue efforts and monitor potential hazards in the future," ICIMOD said.

Immediately after the disaster on April 25, ICIMOD formed a team of GIS and remote sensing experts that have been working to process and analyse the satellite imagery being provided to it from space agencies around the globe.

ICIMOD has set up a webpage to provide the latest maps, data and information about the situation in Nepal, including links to other relevant sites. The link of the site is -www.icimod.org/nepalearthquake2015 and it is regularly updated.

A team of atmospheric scientists from ICIMOD has set up an office at the airport here to provide forecasts and live weather information to helicopter pilots and dispatchers, as well as to provide Google Earth 3D images of flight routes to help pilots navigate unfamiliar terrain, identify and recognise destinations and plan appropriate landing spots, said the statement.

As a goodwill gesture, ICIMOD has also been contributing to the efforts to drop essential supplies by helicopter in hard-hit quake remote areas.

Its pilot areas in Gorkha, Kavre, Sindhupalchowk and Dolakha districts have been identified as target areas for receiving relief and ICIMOD is working with partners on the ground to facilitate the provision of aid.

IANS

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