Areas Surrounding Siang River Alerted Of Flash Floods After Formation Of Artificial Lake In Tibet

The Logical Indian Crew Arunachal Pradesh

October 20th, 2018 / 5:57 PM

Siang River Floods

Image (Representational) Credits: Commons. Wikimedia

Alerts have been issued in the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh cautioning people to avoid visiting the areas close to Siang river due to fear of flash floods. As reported by Hindustan Times, an artificial lake has been created on the Yarlung Tsangpo river in China due to a landslide on Wednesday. The landslide has blocked the flow of the river water, and water flow has drastically reduced.

It is worth noting that the same river continues to Arunachal Pradesh from Tibet and the name changes from the Yarlung Tsangpo to Siang and then to the Brahmaputra as it reaches Assam. The blockage in a part of Yarlung Tsangpo has led to a reduced water level in Siang, and there are chances of flash floods when the water makes its way around the cliff that is blocking the path.

The warning

Authorities in Arunachal Pradesh were told of the condition by the Indian embassy in Beijing through a video call, stating that the water had started to flow over the dam on Friday and that it was streaming towards Siang. A notice issued by the disaster management department of Arunachal Pradesh said that the water flow was increasing at an alarming rate which will lead to a rapid rise in water level of Siang, which is very dangerous.

It was later made clear by the embassy that the barrier is still intact and has not broken; only the water is flowing over it. The Central Water Commission (CWC) however has considered the worst case and estimated that if the dam breaks then the speed of water will be about 80,000 cubic meters per second and that it will cause major devastation.

Preparatory measures

As reported by The Indian Express, Raveesh Kumar a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said that all concerned authorities of the central and state governments had been explained about the developing circumstances so that needed protections can be set up in time.

Multiple areas of Arunachal Pradesh have been told to ensure precautions such as alerting the general public, setting up strategies to vacate people in low lying areas, disallowing people to come anywhere close to the Siang and enabling the continual check of the area. People going against the orders are liable to be punished under Section 188 of the IPC. NDRF forces have been called from Bhubaneshwar, Odisha and will be deployed at the areas close to the river Siang in case rescue and relief operations need to be put into effect.

Upper Assam areas have been put on high alert because of the possibility that the Brahmaputra may also undergo an abrupt rise in water levels destroying the adjacent areas.

The past

Similar situation on June 11, 2000, led to huge destruction in Arunachal Pradesh.  The devastating event killed 30 people, and nearly 100 people were reported missing. Because of abrupt water level changes, an artificial lake formed by the landslide in Tibet ruptured the dam, causing flash floods.


Also Read: North East Floods Claim 23 Lives; 4.5 Lakh People Affected In Assam Alone


Written by : Deepak Rawat (Intern)

Edited by : Bharat Nayak

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