Second landslide again creates barrier lake in Tibet’s Yarlung Tsangpo, flood danger stated to be less

Second barrier lake formed on the Yarlung Tsangpo river. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)
Second barrier lake formed on the Yarlung Tsangpo river. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)

(, Nov01, 2018) – The feared second landslide near Gyalha Village in Menling County of Tibet’s Nyingtri City has materialized on Oct 27 morning, resulting in the formation of a second barrier lake on the Yarlung Tsangpo river. China has alerted India about the development to enable it to be prepared for possible flood in downstream Arunachal Pradesh and Assam states should there be a sudden breach in the barrier lake.

A circular issued Oct 30 by Arunachal’s Upper Siang District Commissioner Duly Kamduk was cited as saying there was an unprecedented decrease in the volume of water in the Siang river at Tuting since Oct 29 night.

The Oct 31 cited India’s Central Water Commission as having tweeted, “As per latest information received from ##Chinese side, the estimated blocked water storage volume at landslide location (#Milin Section of #Yarlung #Zangpo in #Chinese Territory) at 6.30 hrs IST (9 hrs Chinese time) on 31st Oct 2018 is 337 MCM.”

The river was previously blocked by an early morning landslide on Oct 17. It resulted in the creation of a 75-meter-deep barrier lake that held 550 million cubic metres of water at its peak. However, dangers of a devastating flood receded as a result of an Oct 19 afternoon breach which reopened the river’s flow without causing a flood.

India’s Central Water Commission has also said, “This time the landslide occurred at the same place and has again led to the creation of an artificial lake, which has now started breaching. However, the situation is not (as) grave as it was a fortnight ago.”

The Yarlung Tsangpo is referred to as Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh and the Brahmaputra River as it courses through the rest of India before entering Bangladesh.


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