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Photo Story: Monsoon Wreaks Havoc in Sindhupalchowk – ICIMOD
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22 Aug 2016 | Voices from the field

Photo Story: Monsoon Wreaks Havoc in Sindhupalchowk

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After the 5 July Bhotekoshi flood in Sindhupalchowk, a team from the HYCOS Initiative of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) visited Barahbise and talked with several people living and working along the Arnico Highway.

The raging floodwaters of the Bhotekoshi River washed away vulnerable houses along the banks as well as sections of the Arniko Highway.
Some twenty truckloads of stone was dumped to reinforce Bahrabise bridge’s supporting pillar.
Rajesh Thapa, operator at the Sunkoshi Hydropower Station, received flood alert calls from friends and was able to raise all six bridge gates to release the flood waters unimpeded.
Floodwater dumped stones and boulders at the mouth of the gates, leaving one gate with minor damage.
Debris blocks the flow of water into the diversion intake canals. The 10-MW Sunkoshi Hydropower Stations is currently non-operational.
Recent flooding deposited a large amount of sand in an artificial lake created by the 2014 Jure landslide which blocked the Sunkoshi river. This phenomenon is known as ‘sand casting’.
A cloudburst washes away parts of the Jure road making it impassable until a bulldozer was dispatched by the Department of Roads.
A heavier monsoon means a greater flood risk to downstream communities.
One of many residents of Khadichaur who fled floodwaters that fateful night, Mane Majhi. Like many residents, Majhi was separated in the dark from his father who later returned with a t-shirt full of washed-up fish.
Locals from Ramche VDC worry rain and road construction could trigger landslides and rockfalls.
Mandira Shrestha, HYCOS/ICIMOD Programme Coordinator said what happens upstream in China can have severe consequences downstream in Nepal. Dr Shrestha emphasised the need for transboundary cooperation in terms of flood data sharing and setting up of flood early warning systems, not to mention landslide hazard mapping and mitigation.

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