Back to news
15 May 2015 | News

Impact of Nepal Earthquake 2015 on Langthang Valley

1 min Read

70% Complete


The 7.8 magnitude Nepal earthquake on April 25, 2015 and subsequent aftershocks caused more than 8,500 fatalities, nearly 22,500 injured, and damaged thousands of buildings. The powerful quake also left potential secondary hazard risk from landslides and glacial lake outbursts threatening the lives and livelihood of people living the mountainous region. Langtang Valley was one of the worst hit by the earthquake, when a massive snow and ice avalanche triggered by the quake swept the entire valley leaving few survivors.

ICIMOD researchers visited Langtang Valley on 12 May and again 4-9 June to assess geo-hazards in the area and to determine the status of research stations located there. Seven out of eight meteorological stations operated by ICIMOD and its partners were found to be substantially damaged. A task force of ICIMOD researchers is working with NASA to assess landslide and river blockage in the earthquake affected area.

The task force found that in the aftermath of the earthquake, villages in the Langtang valley were destroyed by a combination of air blasts sweeping down the steep slopes of the valley, landslides, and avalanches. The avalanches made of snow and ice mixed with rock material accelerated on the way down the steep valley slopes, displacing the air to create a strong air blast. As a result the eight highest villages in the Langtang Valley — Thyangshyup, Tsarding, Chamki, Gumba, Langtang, Mundu, Singdum, and Kyangjing — were completely destroyed and buried under the avalanche debris. Early analysis of photographs and satellite imagery suggests the size of the avalanches was due in part to debris and ice accumulation above Langtang Village at 4500 meters through small ice avalanches and rock fall from Langtang-Lirung.

The Task Force continues to study and analyse the destruction in Langtang caused by the earthquake and the subsequent avalanches, landslides, and pressure waves to evaluate and map hazards in the future.

Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

Related Contents

Continue exploring this topic

19 Dec 2015 News
India-ICIMOD Week 2015

  The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEF&CC), GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED), and the International ...

4 Jul 2016 News
P3DM in Nepal

The workshop ‘Participatory 3 Dimensional Model (P3DM) building’ was held 12-18 June 2016 at Dhungetar, Charghare VDC, Nuwakot in Nepal. ...

6 May 2016 News
Upgrading Ginger Value Chain

ICIMOD’s Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (Himalica) pilot project in Myanmar has facilitated linkage between private ...

1 Dec 2016 News
Kailash Promoted as a Transboundary Brand at the 14th National Handicraft Trade Fair in Kathmandu

[caption id="attachment_7820" align="aligncenter" width="560"] The launch of the allo community training manual[/caption] The Kailash ...