Seti flash flood reconnaissance visit

On 9 May, a team of experts from ICIMOD, joined by Bal Krishna Panthi, Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Chief of the National Emergency Operation Centre, travelled to the flood affected area to make a preliminary assessment about its source and possible causes. Mr Panthi facilitated the communications of the team with the government officials in Kaski District. The team met with,  faculties of Department of Geography, Prithvi Narayan Campus, Pokhara representatives of the Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN), and media, and then visited the site of the major damage. On 10  May, the team had a meeting with Mr Chet Nath Bhattarai, Chief District Officer of Kaski District, and briefed officials Deputy Inspector General of the Nepal Police, Deputy Inspector General, Armed Police, and  Major General, Western Division, Nepal Army on their field visit. Similarly, the team was briefed about the search, rescue, and relief operations.

The team observed the high intensity of the flash flood, which had been higher than 30 m at some locations. Local people indicated that it was likely that the missing people included many workers who had come to this area from other parts of the country and had not been reported. 

The actual source and cause of the flash flood continues to be unclear. After viewing video footage taken by the Nepal Army during their flight observation on 5 May, the team could not conclude that the landslide they had observed was the real cause of the flood. 

The team noted that in contrast with other flash floods in the mountains, this flood had not left heavy deposits of rock debris along the flood path. Instead, the team found a heavy deposit of fine sediment; this could indicate a very high origin of the flood, possibly the glaciated area in the headwater of the Seti.