Arunachal Pradesh On Alert After Tibet Landslide Creates Artificial Dam

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China has warned that the Siang River's water level would rise again on October 30.


There is a possibility of floods in the Siang River if the artificial dam formed by the landslide in the Yarlung Tsangpo River is breached, according to officials in Arunachal Pradesh. Upper Siang district collector Duly Kamduk said in a circular today that the department of disaster management had informed the district administration about the landslide at the Milin section of the Yarlung Tsangpo river and the possibility of floods in the Siang.

Yarlung Tsangpo flows into India through Arunachal Pradesh and is known as Siang. Further downstream, it joins other tributaries to form the Brahmaputra in Upper Assam. Then it flows into Bangladesh, where it is known as Jamuna.

The circular also stated that there has been an unprecedented decrease in the volume of water in the Siang River at Tuting and Pashighat in Arunachal Pradesh since Monday night.

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According to government sources, there has been communication from China that landslides similar to the one earlier this month, have taken place again on October 29 at the same location in Tibet. China has warned that the Siang River's water level would rise again on October 30.

Central Water Commission (CWC) official in Guwahati, Ravi Ranjan said, "The External Affairs Ministry on Monday night informed the Central Water Commission (CWC) about the landslide that occurred in the Yarlung Tsangpo River at the same place where another landslide had occurred a fortnight ago."

However, the quantity of water discharged by river Yarlung Tsangpo this time is much less than the discharge during October 17 to 20 when there was a flood alert in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh after a landslide had led to the creation of an artificial lake on the Chinese side. Government sources said that the water discharged might be half of what took place in that period and it may not cause any damage or loss of life along the river. However, the water level needs to be monitored for the next three-four days, the sources added.

The Upper Siang district administration has advised people to take precautionary measures and not to venture into the Siang River for fishing, bathing, boating or any other river-water related activity.

"There was nothing to panic as only 1.44 meter of water volume had decreased since 10 pm Monday to 8 am Tuesday," Mr Ranjan said.

According to the CWC's hydrological data, the water level at Tuting is falling at the rate of one centimeter per hour.

Since it is winter season, the volume of discharge of water in the river would come down by 40 to 50 per cent, the district collector of Upper Siang said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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