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18 May 2015 | News

ICIMOD evaluates the hazards of upper Langtang Valley

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Langtang village after the avalanche in 2015. Photo: ICIMOD archive

ICIMOD has spent the past three weeks collaborating with an international team of scientists to evaluate the hazards that contributed to Langtang Valley’s post-earthquake disaster on 25 April 2015, and are working to identify the area’s current conditions and potential future hazards.

Using eyewitness accounts and images obtained from Google Earth and helicopter, the team has drafted an initial report. The report suggests that the 25 April 2015 earthquake triggered part of a hanging glacier in the Langtang Lirung and Langtang II Mountains above the valley to become unhinged and collide into the mountain below, prompting an avalanche of snow, ice, and rock material. In addition, analysis also suggests that a destructive pressure wave accompanied the avalanche in certain parts of the valley. As a result, the valley’s eight highest villages – Thyangshyup, Tsarding, Chamki, Gumba, Langtang, Mundu, Singdum, and Kyangjing – were damaged or completely destroyed.

As aftershocks continue and the monsoon season begins, the possibility of more avalanches and landslides remains. The ICIMOD team will continue to monitor the conditions of the upper Langtang Valley as post-earthquake recovery gets underway.

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Villages in Langtang Valley destroyed by landslides and pressure waves during the 25 April 2015 earthquake
 

Langtang village before the avalanche in 2015
Langtang village before the avalanche in 2015. Photo: ICIMOD archive
Langtang village before the avalanche in 2015
Langtang village after the avalanche in 2015. Photo: ICIMOD archive

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