Deadliest Avalanche Occurred In Tibet Claiming 9 Lives

A massive avalanche of the same scale of the largest ever recorded has occurred in Tibet last July in a narrow valley of the Aru Range of Tibet. The deadly avalanche according to reports have claimed nine human lives, 50 sheep, and 110 yaks in Dungru Village, about 185 miles from the county seat of Rutong in western Tibet, near the border with India.

“On July 17, 2016, a huge stream of ice and rock tumbled down a narrow valley in the Aru Range of Tibet. When the ice stopped moving, it had spread a 30-meter-thick pile of debris across 10 square kilometres.” according the report by Earthobservatory.

Experts have no answer to the causes of the disaster and the officials of the concerned department of China believe such incidents could happen in the future too. The officials said ‘cracks, prompted by global warming and rising temperatures, are appearing in surrounding glaciers’.

“Kääb’s preliminary analysis of satellite imagery indicates that the glacier showed signs of change weeks before the avalanche happened. Normally, such signs would be clues the glacier might be in the process of surging, but surging glaciers typically flow at a fairly slow rate rather than collapsing violently in an avalanche.” said the report. Andreas Kääb, a glaciologist at the University of Oslo.

The eco-system in Tibet is a very unique and volatile one which could be destroyed by slightest of mistreatments. Ever since the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, the Tibetan environment has been unapologetically exploited to fulfil their economic gains. This is a result of such ruthless and irresponsible governance from the Chinese authorities for the last more than five decades.

The significance is that Tibet is most commonly called as the third pole of the world!

Yeshi Paljor

Editor at Tibetan Journal, Yeshi Paljor is a computer engineer by profession.

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