Among the 10 glacial lakes in Sankhuwasabha, four including the Lower Barun Glacial Lake, are at high risk of are at risk of bursting, according to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

ICIMOD’s Arun Bahadur Shrestha said that the Lower Barun Glacial lake, situated below the Makalu Base Camp, and the glacial lake at Bhatkhola Rural Municipality are at high risk of outburst.

Similarly, four glacial lakes in Sankhuwasabha and 17 in Tibet that drain into the Arun River which flows through Nepal are at risk of outburst.

The Lower Barun glacial lake, which covers an area of 1.9 square kilometres, is 2.7 kilometres long and 600 metres wide. Of the 5,353 lakes in Nepal, 20 are at risk of outburst.

Stating that climate change has posed a threat to the conservation of the Himalayas and the lakes, Shrestha underlined the need for collective action to resolve this problem.

Chief of the Sankhuwasabha District Coordination Committee, Suman Shakya, said the Lower Barun Glacial Lake could be prevented from bursting if the course of the Barun River could be diverted towards its old course.

He called on all and sundry to forge coordination and take initiatives towards that end.

Shakya said the Sankhuwasabha District Coordination Committee would always be at the forefront regarding the initiatives for disaster risk mitigation and management caused by the glacial lake outburst.

He added that the Barun River was at risk of draining into the lower Barun glacial lake.