China flood alert sparks fears in Assam & other Northeast states
New Delhi: China has alerted India about the rising water levels in its transboundary Tsangpo river, called Siang in Arunachal Pradesh and Brahmaputra in Assam, leading to possibility of floods in downstream areas, according to official reports on Thursday.
The fresh threat of flood, which follows heavy rainfall over Tsangpo, has triggered panic in the Northeast states, with the East Siang district administration in Arunachal cautioning the public to stay away from the regions surrounding the river. A notification issued by the administration quotes the report received from the Chinese foreign ministry to state that the river, on the other side of the border, has seen the highest runoff in half a century — with a discharge of 9,020 cubic metre per second (cumec) on Wednesday. Just about 15 days ago, the quantity of discharge into the Tsangpo/Brahmaputra was 8,070 cumec, as per the Central Water Commission.
Assam’s Dibrugarh district administration also issued
an order asking officers not to leave the district headquarters as “there may be unprecedented rise in the water level in Brahmaputra”. According to the state disaster management authority, branches of the river were flowing above danger level.
Originating in China, Tsangpo is called Siang once it enters India through Upper Siang district.