Fear of flash flood downstream as massive landslide blocks Tamakoshi River on the Chinese side of the border

Published On: June 19, 2021 03:04 PM NPT By: Ramesh Khatiwada

DOLAKHA, June 19: Local government officials have urged the general public living downstream the Tamakoshi River to take necessary precautions as a massive flash flood is likely since the river on the Chinese side of the border is blocked by a massive landslide on Friday. The Chinese side has communicated to the Nepali authorities that the outburst of the artificial lake created due to blockage could trigger a flash flood downstream of the river, resulting in possible losses of life and property. 

Local government officials in Tibet have sent an email to the Chief District Officer of Dolakha that there is a chance of a flash flood as heavy rainfall that occurred near Rongsiya city in Tibet has caused a massive landslide, causing a blockage in the normal flow of the river. 

Shortly after receiving the information of the potential flood, the District Administration Office, Dolakha, issued a public notice, asking all those living on the bank of the Tamakoshi River downstream to take extra precaution.

Rongsiya City in Tibet borders Bigu Rural Municipality-1 in the district. Quoting the villagers on the other side of the border, vice-chairman of Bigu Rural Municipality, Sanjeev Oli said the heavy rainfall swept away a police camp in the Tibetan side of the border. Although the local administration in Tibet is trying to remove the landslide debris to open the blockage, their efforts have failed to materialize so far.  

Assistant Chief District Officer of Dolakha, Badri Tiwari said they have received information that the Chinese side is trying to open the blockage in the River. But since their efforts have not yet materialized; the threat of a flash flood downstream the Tamakoshi River is still there. 

With the imminent threat of a potential flash flood, the Upper Tamakoshi Project is constantly measuring the volume of water level in the river. The dam of the project has been emptied as a precautionary measure to contain the flood downstream. 

Currently, there is a 150 cubic meter per second flow of water in the river. Officials at the project said they can hold 300 cubic meter water in the dam built for the project for about one and a half hours in case of a flash flood. They believe that the possible damages as a result of the flash flood could be controlled by holding 300 cubic meter of water per second and releasing the remaining flow of water in case there is a flash flood measuring over 600 cubic meter per second. 


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