Ering warns of debris dam risk

Lok Sabha MP Ninong Ering has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the possible threat of a natural hazard to the Northeast - debris dams in the Yarlung Sangpo belt, formed because of the powerful underwater earthquake in November.

By Vinod Kumar Singh in Dhemaji
  • Published 10.02.18
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Dhemaji: Lok Sabha MP Ninong Ering has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the possible threat of a natural hazard to the Northeast - debris dams in the Yarlung Sangpo belt, formed because of the powerful underwater earthquake in November.

A landslide dam, debris dam, or barrier lake is a natural damming of a river by either a landslide, debris flow, rock avalanche or volcano.

Ering wrote, "Every year till April, the slow-melting glaciers and the Eastern Himalayan forests are the primary source of river water. During the monsoon months, rainfall carries sediments from the mountain slopes to the rivers and also causes dangerous landslides. In November, the monsoons turn weak and the rivers of Arunachal Pradesh turn blue. As the monsoon weakens, the river water clears of sediment."

"However, 2017 was an exception. Intense earthquake activity in November triggered widespread landslides on the Yarlung-Tsangpo (200km upstream from Tuting). Three natural rockslide dams have formed on the river because of the debris. It is only a matter of time before the natural dams burst and unleash a severe disaster along the Siang river valley. Complicating this issue further, between October 21 and 27 last year, an avalanche occurred on the Sendapu glacier, which feeds the Yarlung-Tsangpo," Ering added.