2014 Volume 7 Issue 4 Pages 111-117
On May 5, 2012, a rockslide occurred on the western cliff of Annapurna IV and triggered floods, which ran down the Seti River causing serious damage to villages and tourist spots along the river. Considering the seriousness of the disaster and the necessity of investigating the phenomenon for disaster mitigation in Nepal in the future, the NPO Nepal-Japan Friendship Association for Water-induced Disaster Prevention (NFAD) dispatched a survey team 1 month after the disaster, which remained on site from June 2 to 10, 2012. The survey was carried out smoothly and satisfactorily owing to the kind cooperation of the Department of Water-Induced Disaster Prevention (DWIDP), The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and others. Good weather, despite the rainy season, and the carefully arranged logistical support were also key factors in the success. A helicopter survey focused on the western flank of Annapurna IV where the rock slides and rock avalanches that triggered the disaster occurred. Soil materials were collected and compared with the deposits in the downstream areas. Reconnaissance along the Seti River confirmed a “dam up” at Kapuche and severe bank erosions at various places along the river. The deposits along the river were confirmed to be identical to the materials collected during the helicopter survey. Interviews at affected villages, district offices, schools etc., were useful for understanding the actual situation at the time of the disaster. All interviewees responded to our abrupt questions without prior notice with various pieces of information. We are certain that progress has been made in research on the mechanism of rock slides/rock avalanches/mudflows, using practical approaches such as helicopter surveys, reconnaissance surveys, and interviews. We hope that this report will further advance research to mitigate the effects of this type of disaster in Nepal in the future.