India alerted of floods after artificial lake formed in Nepal

Kathmandu: Nepal today alerted India of a possible flash floods in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh after massive landslides, likely triggered by recent devastating earthquakes, blocked Kali Gandaki River in western Nepal, creating a huge artificial lake.

Authorities in India have been informed about the formation of the artificial lake, which could burst, leading to flash floods in Nepal as well as in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, said Hari Prasad Mainali, the chief district officer of Nepal’s Nawalparasi district, which borders India.

“There are chances of the artificial lake created in the river by the landslide bursting any time. We have asked the Indian side to remain alert,” said Mainali.

Security personnel have been deployed on the river banks, urging people to remain alert as the artificial lake could burst at any time.

Thousands of people in Nepal’s Myagdi district and surrounding areas have already fled to safety after the landslides buried dozen of houses. However, no casualties have been reported so far in the country.

A new deep and growing lake has been formed on the Kali Gandaki River in Myagdi district, about 140km north-west of the capital, Kathmandu, after landslides overnight.

About 95 per cent flow of the river has stopped due to the landslides, which have created the artificial lake of about four-km-long and 200-metre-thick with about 1.5 million cubic litres of water, reports said.

Kali Gandaki flows in central Nepal and northern India.

It is formed by the union of the Kali and Trisuli rivers. It flows southwest into India and then turns southeast along the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar state border and across the Indo-Gangetic Plain as Gandak.

Normally landslides are triggered by rain but in this case, the cracks formed by earthquake led the debris to fall, according to experts.

A number of landslides have hit Nepal since the 7.9- magnitude earthquake on April 25 which killed nearly 9,000 people and injured thousands more. It was followed by a 7.3- magnitude quake on May 12 and around 260 aftershocks.