Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh  Credit: File photo

Guwahati: The Arunachal Pradesh government has sounded an alert in the districts located along the river Siang after the Indian Embassy in China communicated to New Delhi about the formation of an artificial lake following a landslide that has blocked the Milin section of the Yarlung Tsangpo river (sometimes called Yarlung Zangbo).

Yarlung Tsangpo becomes phenomenally wider and is called the Siang downstream from Arunachal Pradesh. After reaching Assam, the river is known as Brahmaputra.

Due to the formation of the lake, water level of the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh has gone down and has also led to fears of large-scale floods if the dam formed by the landslide breaks.

A letter issued by Bidol Tayeng, secretary to the government of Arunachal Pradesh, department of disaster management, on Friday, states that the water of river Yarlung Tsangpo has overflown the block point at Milin Section, 70 km from Nuxia Hydrological Station in Tibet, around 2 pm on Friday. It has also stated that it was the case of overflow over the debris of block point and not any breach of the blockage.

The district administrations of Siang, West Siang, East Siang, Upper Siang have been asked to take all precautionary measures to meet any eventualities. The department of disaster management has directed the district administrations to create public awareness, evacuate low-lying areas, restrain people from going to the river, constantly monitor water level of Siang, activate control room, keep police forces in ready position and inform and alert all Army and Border Road Organisation establishments for quick help in case of any eventuality.

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal has also directed the district authorities of Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Dhemaji to be on high alert and take all necessary steps to prevent any catastrophe, say reports. Six teams of NDRF have left for Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and will be deployed in the districts as and when required.

Speaking to EastMojo, Rajendra Prasad Das, secretary to the government of Assam, water resource department, said, “I have informed the executive engineer of Dhemaji, Dibrugarh , Lakhimpur and Tinsukia districits to keep a strict vigilance over the water flow.”

In a press note issued by the Assam chief minister’s office, it has stated that the external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has asked the state to be alert to tackle the situation.

As per the Arunachal Pradesh department of disaster management, water is likely to reach Tuting in the next few hours; some reports say it has already reached Pasighat in East Siang district. The department has especially asked to keep a close watch on the low-lying villages of Mebo sub-division such as Sigar, Ralling, Borguli, Seram and Namsing, which had been badly affected by the recent floods.

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