Avalanche Causes Birendra Lake to Overflow in Nepal, Damaging Bridge and Prompting Warnings

On April 21, 2024, a massive avalanche near Manaslu Peak in Nepal caused Birendra Lake to overflow, damaging a bridge. Authorities have urged nearby residents to remain vigilant as the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of disaster preparedness.

author-image
Israel Ojoko
New Update
Avalanche Causes Birendra Lake to Overflow in Nepal, Damaging Bridge and Prompting Warnings

Avalanche Causes Birendra Lake to Overflow in Nepal, Damaging Bridge and Prompting Warnings

On April 21, 2024, a massive avalanche occurred near Birendra Lake on Manaslu Peak in Gorkha, Nepal, causing the lake to overflow into the Budhigandaki River. The avalanche, which happened at around 9:00 am, resulted in damage to a wooden bridge along the river. Authorities have urged nearby residents to remain vigilant due to the increased water flow in the Budhigandaki area. "The avalanche caused the lake to burst and flood, but there was no loss of life," stated Bhola Dahal, the chief district officer of Gorkha.

The Birendra Lake, located at the foot of the Manaslu Peak, the world's eighth-highest mountain, is considered the origin of the Budhigandaki River. The overflow has significantly increased the water level in the river, prompting the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue an alert to residents living in low-lying areas along the river. The ministry warned of the risk of flood damage and stated that a police team has been deployed to the incident site.

While no casualties have been reported so far, and there is no immediate threat of further damage, authorities remain on alert. Superintendent of Police Basudev Pathak confirmed that a makeshift bridge was swept away by the flood resulting from the lake's burst, but reassured that there was no major flooding. He emphasized that nearby settlements should stay alert to the risks.

Why this matters: The incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable forces of nature and the importance of proactive measures in safeguarding lives and property in vulnerable regions. The potential for flash floods and damage to infrastructure in the aftermath of such events highlights the need for robust early warning systems and disaster preparedness plans.

The Manaslu area is a popular trekking destination, and authorities are working to provide updated information on the water levels in the lake and river to ensure the safety of visitors. The avalanche did not occur on the mountain's normal route, and the only expedition planned on Manaslu this spring had just received its climbing permit two days prior. "The situation does not suggest an immediate risk of further loss, and a police squad has been dispatched to the site to respond to the incident," stated the District Police Office in Gorkha.

Key Takeaways

  • Massive avalanche near Manaslu Peak caused Birendra Lake to overflow into Budhigandaki River.
  • Avalanche damaged a wooden bridge, but no loss of life reported; authorities urge vigilance.
  • Birendra Lake is the origin of Budhigandaki River; overflow has increased water levels.
  • Makeshift bridge swept away, but no major flooding; authorities monitoring situation closely.
  • Incident highlights need for early warning systems and disaster preparedness in vulnerable regions.