Arunachal, Assam On Alert As Tibet Landslide Causes Siang River To Swell

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Brahmaputra river in Assam, known as Siang In Arunachal, in danger of a flood due to landslide in Tibet

Itanagar:

Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are on high alert after China informed India about a possible flood situation because of a landslide in Tibet. Beijing, under the 'Emergency Information Sharing Mechanism' with India, informed New Delhi that a landslide has blocked one of the major rivers in Tibet leading to the formation of an artificial lake.

The landslide happened on the Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet. The river is known as the Siang after it enters India at Arunachal Pradesh. In Assam it is called the Brahmaputra. "Water in the Siang river breached the danger mark on Friday night," officials in Arunachal Pradesh said.

Based on the information, which China first shared on Wednesday evening, and subsequently updated a day later, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to the chief ministers of the two states on Friday urging them to take all possible measures to ensure the safety of the people.

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Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has directed authorities in districts bordering Arunachal Pradesh to "remain on high alert" for a possible flash flood along the Brahmaputra river. He directed the authorities in Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Lakgimpur and Tinsukia districts to take all possible steps to prevent any major catastrophe, a spokesperson from his Office said today.

The National Disaster Response Force or NDRF has also been briefed about the situation. Six NDRF teams from Kolkata are scheduled to arrive in Guwahati today, following which they will move to the districts as and when required.

In Arunachal Pradesh too, districts along the Siang river have been put on high alert for possible flash floods, state government officials said.

Based on a river water information-sharing treaty signed by China and India, Chinese Embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said that the landslide happened near Jiala Village in Milin County in the lower ranges along the Yaluzangbu river in Tibet. The landslide happened because of "natural causes", he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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