Disaster looms large as Siang swells, China warns

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A major natural disaster is looming large as Dam released water of river Siang (Tsangpo) from China threatening to inundate huge areas of Brahmaputra valley triggering another wave of flood in the plains of Assam.

China had informed that 9020 cumsec of water have been discharged this morning from river Tsangpo and that is equivalent to around 9.02 million litres of water per second.

River Tsangpo takes the name of river Siang when it enters Arunachal Pradesh and eventually marge with several rivers to be the mighty river Brahmaputra.

This is a very high figure and considered highest in the past 50 years.

This is for the first time China has in advance informed Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) about the impending water release as heavy rains reported in the upper Tsangpo in Tibet.

The district administration of East Siang district have cautioned the riverine people to stay away from the river which was thundering down at great speed and wave. So far there is no loss of human life.

But the maximum damage is expected when it is going to reach the plains of Brahmaputra valley. The river is expected to reach the plains of Assam around Passighat with full force from late this evening, which means a large amount of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur district is expected to be submerged by tomorrow.

If the water flow continues, then the inundation shall slowly move downward in the Brahmaputra valley causing a fresh wave flood.

The East Siang District Administration in Arunachal Pradesh has issued an alert following heavy rain across the border, in China. Officials have cautioned the public to refrain from venturing into Siang River for fishing, swimming, and other activities to avoid any eventualities.

In a circular on Wednesday, Tamiyo Tatak, deputy commissioner of East Siang said that as per a report received from the Chinese government, due to heavy rainfall, the Tsangpo river is swelling with an “observed discharge of 9,020 cumec” (equivalent to around 9.02 million litres of water per second) as of Wednesday at 8 am. This is stated to be the highest discharge in the river in 50 years.

People living in low lying areas on the right bank and left bank of Siang river including Jarku, Paglek, SS Mission, Jarkong, Banskota, Berung, Sigar, Borguli, Seram, Kongkul, Namsing, Mer have been advised to remain alert. Despite the alert, the government said that there is no need to panic but people must remain alert.

The Siang river had been in the headlines in 2017 after the clear waters of the river turned black. China’s hand was suspected in doing so.

The Tsangpo river originates from China and is called Siang once it enters India through Upper Siang district, which then joins two other rivers, Lohit and Dibang, to form the Brahmaputra.

Due to heavy flood and unusual high tides in the Siang River, large scale soil erosion is taking place in the left bank side of Siang River toward Lower Mebo under Mebo Sub-Division, Pasighat in East Siang district.

Mebo villages.

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