Flood: Assessment on the Memari Lake in Laya, which breached a month ago, begins today with an expedition reaching the site and the camps on July 26 and technical equipment to conduct the study set up.

The team comprises of three officials from the department of hydro-met services (DHMS) one from disaster management, two from department of geology and mines, Gasa dzongkhag’s disaster focal person and three experts from ICIMOD, Nepal.

Hydro-met services’ officials said the team would also conduct a survey along the river to find out how the flood has occurred and also study the possible risks from the lake. The Memari Lake or Lemithang is about five hours of walk from Laya, and located few metres below the Tiger mountain, (Gangchen Tag).

This is the first technical assessment being conducted on the Memari Lake.  “The study was necessary as the Memari tsho was one of the 25 most potentially dangerous glacier lakes as per the study conducted by ICIMOD and DGM in 2001,” chief of DHMS, Karma Drupchu said. “It is also important to confirm whether there is any possibility of reformation of the lake and the future risk.”

The study would also find out whether the earthquake or the continuous rain prior to the outburst caused the lake to burst.

If weather is favourable, the team would also study another lake near Memari, which is also listed as potentially dangerous. The team would spend more than 10 days at the site and ICIMOD is bearing all travel expenses.

DHMS said the department would assess the lakes in Lunana in the coming months.

By Dawa Gyelmo, Gasa