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Tibet landslide triggers flood alert in Assam

Districts bordering Arunachal Pradesh have been out on alert

By AP in Guwahati
  • Published 20.10.18, 10:50 AM
  • Updated 20.10.18, 10:50 AM
  • a min read
Abridge across the Yarlung Tsangpo river. Wikimedia Commons

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday directed authorities in districts bordering Arunachal Pradesh to “remain alert” for possible flash flood after China informed India about a landslide blocking a river in Tibet leading to the formation of an artificial lake.

Sonowal has directed the authorities in Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Lakgimpur and Tinsukia districts to take all possible steps to prevent any major catastrophe, a spokesperson for the chief minister’s office said in Guwahati.

The Yarlung Tsangpo river is known as the Siang after it enters India at Arunachal Pradesh from the Tibetan region and is called the Brahmaputra once it reaches Assam.

The district administration, District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA) and all other departments concerned have been asked to remain on alert.

Six NDRF teams from Kolkata are scheduled to arrive in Guwahati and will move to the districts as and when required.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to the chief minister on Friday night and urged him to take all possible measures.

Chinese embassy spokesperson Counselor Ji Rong said his country has activated the ‘Emergency Information Sharing Mechanism’ with India following the landslide on Wednesday near Jiala Village in Milin County in the lower ranges of the Yaluzangbu river in Tibet.

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”.