A mud stream (mudflow) is a rapid stream flow from a mixture of water and rock debris that appear suddenly in basins of small mountainous rivers. Translated from Arabic, the word ‘sel’ means ‘torrential flow’. Imagine a furiously churning wave the height of a five-story house that rushes along the gorge with the speed of an express train, breaking down centuries-old trees and easily moving boulders weighing many tons. The most powerful mudflows usually happen in June, when the hot sun intensively melts glaciers and millions of tons of water accumulate in moraines – giant accumulations of rock debris deposited by a glacier. If a moranic lake situated at an altitude of 3000 – 3500 meters above sea level breaks out, a chain reaction begins: a mud and rock flow emerges, that sweeps down and constantly increases in volume and strength.
Causes of a mudflow:
– intense melting of snow and glaciers;
– outbreaks of water reservoirs;
Every person living in a mudflow-hazardous area should know:
-whether his/her house is located in the zone of possible mudslide activity;
– it is necessary to avoid building residential houses in the zone of possible mudslide activity;
– it is required to plan several possible evacuation routes to elevated areas in advance;
– It is necessary to know where to accommodate your family and what to take with you in case of an evacuation;
– do not set up temporary encampments in beds of mudflow rivers;
– it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the notification and warning system.
In a period of mudflow risk it is necessary to know:
– upon the appearance of signs of a mudflow hazard (rumble, water turbidity) immediately go up the developed route;
– the route should not pass through river beds;
– it is necessary to stay in a safe place until the water declines or until an official message that the danger has passed will be sent out;
– take food products and valuable items with you.
After the mudflow has passed:
– it is prohibited to go down to the mudflow channel after one wave has passed, it can be followed by another;
– after the mudflow has passed, it is necessary to watch out for torn and slack cables and immediately report such damages as well as the destruction of sewage and water mains to according services;
– it is not allowed to use food products that have been in contact with the water streams;
– it is necessary to check all drinking water before use;
– before entering residential houses, it is necessary to check the building for structural damages and make sure that there is no danger of destruction;
– after entering the building, residential home, it is not allowed to use matches and torches as a source of light, since gas leakage is possible;
– do not use electricity until the power main is checked;
It is necessary to open all doors and windows in order to dry the house, building, remove garbage and give the floor and walls the chance to dry.