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3. The village of TangnagThe village of Tangnag in the Hinku valley has about ten houses and is well above the tree line which in this area is at about 3500 m. The villagers used to live on growing potatos and herding yak. Over the recent years trekking and climbing became very popular in this area and during the high seasons (September/October and March/April) when around 50 persons a day try to climb Mera Peak, with 6500 m altitude one of the highest trekking peaks of Nepal. Now they sell tourist goods like beer, rum, batteries and Snickers to mostly European, American and Japanese tourists.
The broad Hinku valley is a good area for yak herding and growing potatoes but most yaks have disappeared and many potatoe fields are now deserted. The valley is full of Edelweiss flowers and a variety of other plants. Yaks don't like Edelweiss flowers as it is a tough plant.
Sherpa guides feel that the local inhabitants do not take care of the valley and that "this made the gods angry". Examples they give are the recent large landslides, avalanches in winter and the most recent disaster with the Sabai Tsho Lake. Village of Tangnag with tourist groups camping.
4. After the first floodMuch smaller, intermittent floods continued after the main flood and by 8 AM the water floods hit the first houses of Tangnag, including the local lodge (Sun Rise Lodge). The floods continued until 1 AM the same night, for a total of 20 hours, by the time the Sabai Tsho Lake measuring 1200 by 500 m, dropped its water level by 50 m.
In Tangnag, two houses were swept away and three yaks were killed but no other casualties were reported. The main trail between Thuli Kharka and Tangnag via Tashing Dingma near the river bed washed away and travellers are now forced to take the little used, difficult, high path crossing several ridges that before the flood was mainly used by yaks for grazing. This increases the travel between Thuli Kharka and Tangnag from 1 day to 1.5 days. On the way back we decided to take the shorter but steep, high pass to Lukla at 4900 m followed by the very long, 2000 m descent to Lukla. This trail is impossible to take during snow conditions.
Down-stream, along the Drangkha and Dudh Kosi Rivers, bridges and houses were washed away and a number of people were killed. Various Sherpas from the region reported around 300 casualties but this is an unconfirmed figure. Tangnag with fields washed away by the boulder and water flood.