Deadly Sikkim GLOF: a disaster foretold

At least 14 people were killed and over 100 are missing after South Lhonak glacial lake in the Indian state of Sikkim burst due to incessant rains Oct. 4, inundating downstream areas. The sudden deluge on the Teesta River destroyed the Chungthang dam and flooded several districts, including Mangan, Gangtok, Pakyong and Namchi. Many residents remain cut off. (Indian Express, The Hindu) Scientists had long warned that South Lhonak lake would burst. A detailed study, Future Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) hazard of the South Lhonak Lake, Sikkim Himalaya, was published in Geomorphology journal in September 2021. It noted that the lake had witnessed a significant increase in size over the past decades due to glacial retreat. India's Central Water Commission had initiated an advisory study to evaluate the condition of the Himalayan lake system in Sikkim. (DownToEarth)

See our last post on the politics of glaciers in the Himalayas.