Saptakoshi records this year’s highest water level, red light on
July 10, 2020 01:38 PM NPT
By: Amar Khadka
File photo: Republica
ITAHARI, July 10: The water level in the Saptakoshi River on Friday morning reached 207,515 cusec, making it the highest water level of the year. According to the local authorities, there are risks of flooding. It has been raining incessantly since yesterday night.
On 26 June, the flow was 77,720 cusec and decreased further in the past few days. After Friday's development, the authorities have opened 30 of the 56 sluices of the Koshi barrage. The red emergency light has also been switched on to warn the locals.
It is considered alarming when the water level exceeds 200,000 cusec in the river. As long as it remains 150,000 cusec or lower, it is taken as normal. According to the authorities, Koshi barrage has the capacity to hold 900,000 cusec of water level, though this has weakened over the years. Moreover, heaps of sand collected at the upper part of the barrage pose risks of landslides even when the water level is low.
In the past 19 years, the water level has not crossed 400,000 cusec per second. Records at the Koshi barrage control room further reveal that it had gone up to 788,200 cusec in the year 1968, the highest in the history. In the year 1987, the record level was 523,771 cusec.
Koshi floods have wreaked havoc in the neighboring villages a number of times. In 2008, August 18, Koshi Rural Municipality was badly affected as the floods had washed off the eastern embankment. The highest water level was not more than 168,000 cusec per second then. The disaster had displaced 70,563 families.