Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal 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.
Mr Sonowal has directed the authorities in Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Lakgimpur and Tinsukia districts to remain alert and take all possible steps to prevent any major catastrophe, a spokesman of the Chief Minister's Office said.
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.
According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), the impact on Assam would be minimal as water levels of Brahmaputra are low but it might cross high flood level at Pasighat, if the blockade breaches leading to temporary rise in water levels in Dhemaji district.
"People in the riverine areas have been advised not to venture into the Brahmaputra for fishing, swimming, collecting driftwood, etc," Dhemaji Deputy Commissioner Roshni Aparanji Korati said.
"We are closely monitoring the water levels and the situation is normal though the district administration is prepared to face any eventuality and there is no need to panic," she added.
The Dibrugarh district administration has suspended all ferry services between Dibrugarh and Dhemaji indefinitely as a precautionary measure after the flood alert was issued in Dibrugarh, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia.
Six NDRF teams have reached Dibrugarh from Kolkata late last night by a special aircraft with four teams sent to Dhemaji and one each to Tinsukia and Dibrugarh.
Earlier, eight teams of the NDRF consisting 200 members landed at Pasighat to tackle any situation, a release issued by the Dibrugarh district administration said.
The water level in Pasighat is rising but still flowing at 149.50 metres which is below the danger level of 153.96 metres.
In Dibrugarh, the water level is 103.32 metres with falling trend while the danger level is 105.70 metres.
The district administration of Sonitpur and Tinsukia have also issued a high alert with the NDRF, SDRF and River Police all prepared in case of any eventuality.
The authorities have urged people "not to panic but remain alert" in case the water level rises.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to the chief minister Friday night and urged him to take all possible measures in the wake of the situation.
Districts along the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh have been put on high alert for possible flash floods after China informed India about a landslide blocking a river in Tibet leading to formation of an artificial lake, officials said Friday.
Chinese Embassy spokesperson Counselor Ji Rong said that 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 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".
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