China Issues Flood Alert in Brahmaputra, India Says Don’t Panic
The flooded Brahmaputra river. Image used for representational purposes. 
The flooded Brahmaputra river. Image used for representational purposes. (Photo: PTI)

China Issues Flood Alert in Brahmaputra, India Says Don’t Panic

China has alerted India about the rising water in river Tsangpo, called Siang in Arunachal Pradesh and Brahmaputra in Assam, leading to possibility of floods in downstream areas, Arunachal Pradesh MP Ninong Ering said on Thursday, 30 August.

A senior official of the Union Water Resources Ministry said it was an unprecedented situation on the Chinese side where the river, known as Tsangpo in Tibet, broke a 150-year record with swollen waters and hence China has shared the information with India.

Ering said the communication from China came following heavy rains across the rivers catchment area.

The local authorities told me that the Chinese government has conveyed to Indian government that there is a possibility of floods in parts of Arunachal Pradesh. We have taken the alert seriously and cautioned people.
Ninong Ering, Arunachal MP 

Also Read : China Resumes Sharing Brahmaputra Water Flow Data With India  

According to a Chinese government report, 9,020 cumec of water was discharged into Tsangpo/Brahmaputra river, as observed at various stations on Wednesday, 29 August.

Also Read : Godavari River in Spate: Flood Alert Sounded In AP, Telangana

The MP said Siang has been calm till Thursday, but people in East and Upper Siang districts were cautioned.

"My own village is in danger of getting flooded," he said.

The Union Water Resources Ministry official said Indian experts have analysed the data shared by China and came to the conclusion that the effect may not be so strong in the country even through it was an alarming situation in China.

This was the first time this year that China shared the river data with India, the official said.

China began sharing data from 15 May, while it started sharing data for the Sutlej river from 1 June. The sharing of data came after the two sides held talks over the issue in March tin 2018. The data is shared twice daily until October, 2018.

In 2017, China had said that the hydrological gathering sites were washed away due to floods. It coincided with the 73-day Doklam standoff that took place during the peak monsoon period. 

The Brahmaputra originates from China's Tibet and flows into Arunachal Pradesh, where it is called Siang, and then Assam, where it becomes Brahmaputra, and later drains into the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh.

Also Read : China Denies Building Tunnel to Divert Brahmaputra Waters

"They shared data as per the MoU between us. We analaysed the data and found that there was no danger on the Indian side," said another ministry official.

There is nothing to panic as the Central Water Commission (CWC) has reported that the water level at the Grand Canyon of Tsangpo on 14 August was 8,070 cumec and an increase should not inflict severe damages, Arunachal government officials said in Itanagar quoting the Chinese communication.

The unusually high waves in the Siang river have created fear among the people of the two Arunachal Pradesh districts and the administration has cautioned the people to refrain from venturing into it for fishing, swimming and other activities, an official said.

(The Quint is now available on Telegram and WhatsApp. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to our Telegram and WhatsApp channels)

Follow our India section for more stories.

    Also Watch