Lake Cachet 2 has drained and refilled seven times in three years…
Lake Cachet 2, Chile
The people living beside the Colonia River in the Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia are under constant threat of a sudden catastrophic flood sweeping down from the mountains above them.
The region has experienced an unprecedented seven events called glacial-lake outburst floods since April 2008. Each time, Lake Cachet 2, which lies on the Colonia glacier, has drained its 200 million cubic metres of water in a matter of hours into the Colonia Lake and River, sending the water on to the river’s confluence with Baker River, Chile’s largest in terms of volume, and generating a wave as far as 25 kilometres upstream and 100 kilometres downstream to the Pacific Ocean.
“You can review the scientific literature and you will notice that these phenomena are known worldwide in the Himalayas, the Alps, but the difference here, and what is striking, is its recurrence,” says Fabián Espinoza, regional director of the country’s Bureau of Water Management.