IN THE NEWS: The minister says there are no plans to slow down hydroelectric power.

  • The glacier lake outburst (GLOF) that triggered a flood in Sikkim and destroyed the Chungthang dam will not slow India’s reliance on hydroelectric power.

Glacier Lake Outburst (GLOF)

  • A Glacial Lake Outburst Flood, or GLOF, is the sudden release of water from a lake fed by glacier melt.
  • It has formed at the side, in front, within, beneath, or on the surface of a glacier.
  • It can be impounded by moraine complexes, glacial ice, or even bedrock as a result of breaching, slope failure, overtopping, or other failure mechanisms.
  • It can lead to catastrophic phenomena in the high mountains that threaten people’s lives, livelihoods, and regional infrastructure.
  • In the Hindu Kush Himalaya, moraine-dammed glacial lakes are common, and numerous GLOF events have been traced back to the failure of moraine dams.
  • It is causing large amounts of water to flow into nearby streams and rivers. These also create flash floods.
  • As they grow larger, they become more dangerous because glacial lakes are mostly dammed by unstable ice or sediment composed of loose rock and debris.

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