Tamakoshi riverside settlements at risk of inundation as tributary is dammed upRamechhap and Sindhuli district administrations also alert people living close to the river against possible floods.
The settlements along the Tamakoshi river in Dolakha district are at risk of flooding, as landslides near the Nepal-China border on Friday blocked the Rongsi stream, a tributary of the Tamakoshi river.
Several landslides have occurred near border pillars 60 and 61 at Lapchi that borders China’s Tingri county. The District Administration Office in Dolakha said efforts are underway to open the dammed up stream and avert any untoward incident.
“A team from China has reached the incident site and is working to release the water,” said Chief District Officer Bashudev Ghimire. “We have been informed that the Chinese team is working to remove the landslide debris and let the stream flow naturally. But we are not sure if it is possible.”
He urged people living near the banks of the Tamakoshi to stay on high alert for possible flooding. According to him, the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project emptied its reservoir on Saturday to mitigate the risk of floods in the Tamakoshi river.
The spokesperson of the project, Ganesh Neupane, said that the water in the reservoir has been released, as there is an immediate threat of flooding in the Tamakoshi river.
“The Tamakoshi dam can hold the increased water flow for about one-and-a-half hours,” Neupane told the Post. “The water is being released from the reservoir to accommodate the increased flow of water in the river. This will also buy time for people to move towards safer locations.”
Neupane said that the project is aiming to lower the water level at the dam to 1,978 metres.
“The dam is designed to hold up to 5,000 cubic metres of water,” Neupane said. “If we release water from the reservoir, it will help alleviate the threat of floods in the Tamakoshi river.”
The district administration released a notice on Friday night citing the Chinese authorities’ warnings of floods.
“We have received information from the Chinese authorities about obstruction in the flow of the stream caused by landslides,” said Ghimire. “We have also been informed of possible floods in the Tamakoshi river if the artificial lake bursts.”
The district administrations of Ramechhap and Sindhuli districts have also warned people living near the Tamakoshi river of possible floods and have urged them to stay on high alert.
“We were asleep at night when the police came to our settlement and warned us of possible flooding through speakers. We could not sleep the entire night,” said Shankar Majhi of Manthili-2 in Ramechhap district.
In Manang, the residents of various downstream settlements along the Marsyangdi river are in abject terror, as the flow of river has been blocked at Humde due to landslides.
“We have been restless and anxious, as we fear inundation,” said Melina Gurung of Chame Rural Municipality-5. The district was hit hard by floods in the Marshyangdi river last week.
“Landslides frequently occur in the Humde area,” said Dipak Dhakal, the chief administrative officer of Manang Nisyang Rural Municipality. According to him, 55 houses have been inundated in Naso while one-and-a-half dozen houses have been swept away in Dharapani and Chame.
Likewise, the Ghattekhola stream has formed an artificial lake in the Chame area after its flow was obstructed by a landslide.
“It is continuously raining in the area. The area is at high risk of flooding,” said Chief District Officer Bishnu Lamichhane. According to him, security personnel have been mobilised to gush out water from the artificial lake in the Ghattekhola stream.
In Sindhupalchok, three villages of Jugal Rural Municipality have been disconnected from other parts of the district after the flooded Nesham stream swept away a suspension bridge at Tembathan. The settlements of Dipu, Tega and Tembathan have been cut off from other parts of the district since Tuesday night.
“We cannot cross the flooded stream as the bridge has been swept away. Our villages have been isolated now,” Sahila Sherpa, a local resident, told the Post over the phone.
Similarly, floods in the Bramhayadi stream also swept away a suspension bridge linking Dipu to Tega. Around a dozen families have been displaced, as the stream eroded its embankment.
Meanwhile, the Tatopani border point in Sindhupalchok has been closed since Saturday, as roads in Larcha and Kodari Bazaar areas were damaged by the flooded Bhotekoshi river.
According to Raj Kumar Paudel, the chairman of Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality, the border point has been closed, as roads in the area caved in due to erosion by the river. Sixty families in Kodari were moved to a local school, as the area is at high risk of floods and landslides.
(With inputs from local correspondents)