Flood situation worsens in Northeast as China releases water into Siang river

A flood alert has been issued to certain states in the Northeast. Arunachal Pradesh has been sufferingfrom heavy floods since China released water into the Siang river.

China had earlier sent an alert to India of heavy rainfall in the region as it would soon release water into the Tsangpo River.

Acting on the letter sent by China, the Arunachal Pradesh government has alerted certain areas and is taking precautions to minimise damage.

Tsangpo, the Chinese portion of the Brahmaputra, has never witnessed such heavy rainfall in the last 50 years. China released water into Siang, the Indian portion of the Brahmaputra and the water level has been swelling ever since. As of now, the various gauge and discharge stations at Tsangpo has recorded a release of 9,020 cumecs (cubic metres per second) of water.

Locals in Jarku, Paglek, Jarkong, Banskota, Berung, Namsing areas near Siang River have been advised to keep away from low lying areas and not to venture into the Siang river.

"Because of heavy rains, the water level has increased to this level for the first time since fifty years. The Government of India has sent us a letter and we are acting on it. We have been calling the administration and various officers regarding the water level in the areas. We have alerted places and even shifted and rescued few residents of the area. There is no need to panic right now," said Alo Libang, Rural Development Minister of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Indian Air force rescued 19 people on Friday from a flood affected island in Arunachal Pradesh. They are cattle herders from Assam who were stranded for over 24 hours.

Siang is the same river that had changed colour after slush was released from the Chinese territory. The move continues to damage fauna in the pristine waters of the uphill river.

"China has been doing construction work on both sides of the Siang river. Because of the constructions, we are facing problems. Even last year, China crossed India's border and constructed a 2 km road. We have informed the Government of India and will act accordingly," said Libang.

Around 1,000 families have been affected who lived along the Siang River at Mebo area in East Siang. Red alerts have been issued to residents of Borguli, Seram, Namsing, Mer and Sigar villages. These villages are on the left bank of the Siang and water volume in the river is rising due to large-scale siltation.

Apart from Arunachal Pradesh, other states like Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya have also been alerted. Round the clock surveillance is being done and disaster management is on stand by.

Central Water Commission (CWC) data reveals that the water level is currently rising in Beki River (Barpeta district in Assam) and Jiabharali River (Sonitpur district in Assam) in the Brahmaputra basin.

[https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/flood-situation-worsens-in-northeast-as-china-releases-water-into-siang-river-1330112-2018-09-02 September 2, 2018]