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No flood threat due to artificial lake in Arunachal, Assam, says China


BEIJING, October 22: China on Monday said the flood situation in Yarlung Tsangpo river, known as Siang in India, has returned to normal, which had arisen due to the formation of an artificial lake created by a landslide and blocking its main stream in Tibet, posing a threat to India’s northeastern states.
China also said it will continue to share the flood data with India.
People living along the banks of Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh were moved to safer places after China informed India about the landslide, which occurred on October 17. It blocked the Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet leading to the formation of the artificial lake.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday had also directed authorities in districts bordering Arunachal Pradesh to “remain alert” for possible flash flood and take all possible steps to prevent any major catastrophe.
“By October 20, the river section of the barrier lake has returned to normal. We will keep close monitoring of the landslide situation and maintain close communication and cooperation with the Indian side through the existing channels,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
She said the Chinese hydrological department had immediately informed India about the situation. “Up to October 22, we have provided seven bits of hydrological information and 110 bits of statistics. We also reported the Indian side of the flow of barrier lake,” Hua said.
China has resumed sharing of hydrological data on the Brahmaputra from May 15 after a gap of one year. It had stopped sharing the data with India last year soon after the Doklam stand-off, stating that its hydrological stations in Tibet were being upgraded and that the data couldn’t be shared.
India and China have established Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) in 2006 to discuss various issues related to trans-border rivers.(PTI)