Arunachal district on flood alert after formation of artificial lake in Tibet
Itanagar/New Delhi, Oct 19: Districts along the Brahmaputra river in Arunachal Pradesh have been put on high alert for possible flash floods after China informed India about a landslide blocking its main stream in Tibet leading to formation of an artificial lake, officials said Friday.
MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the government is in regular contact with the Chinese side for further updates. All relevant authorities of the central government and state governments concerned have been apprised about the emerging situation to enable them to take necessary precautionary measures, he said. A senior official of the Union Water Resources Ministry said the flood water is likely to reach Arunachal Pradesh by Friday night.
Chinese Embassy spokesperson Counselor Ji Rong said that his country has activated the 'Emergency Information Sharing Mechanism' with India following the landslide on Wednesday morning near Jiala Village in Milin County in the lower ranges of Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet. Yarlung Tsangpo river is called Siang when it enters Arunachal Pradesh and Brahmaputra in Assam.
The Indian official said, "They (China) first informed us on Wednesday about the landslide and creation of an artificial lake. Water is over-topping (breaching). It will reach Arunachal Pradesh and cross the high flood level by Friday night." The reason cited behind the landslide was "natural causes". The official added that districts along Siang (Brahmaputra) in Arunchal Pradesh have been put on high alert. The water will cross "high flood mark" and the situation is being monitored at the highest level, the official added. "The data is being shared on hourly basis," the official said.
Ji said the Hydrological Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region has begun to share with the Indian side hydrological information every hour, such as the water level and flow rate at the Nuxia hydrological station and the temporary hydrological station downstream of the barrier lake. The Chinese side will closely monitor situation of the barrier lake, and continue to notify the Indian side the follow-up developments through bilaterally agreed channels timely, he said.
The Chinese side has been keeping close communication with the Indian side on Yarlung Tsangpo River hydrological information, reflecting another positive gesture of implementing the Wuhan consensus between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ji said. In April this year, President Xi and Prime Minister Modi reached important consensus on promoting China-India all-round cooperation during the informal summit in Wuhan. Sources said the landslide has occurred at a very remote location which is physically inaccessible. They said the Chinese side is extending all cooperation in sharing relevant information with India.