Ering writes to PM on impending danger from earthquake-triggered dams

NEW DELHI, Feb 9: Member of Parliament Ninong Ering has drawn the attention of the prime minister to the danger posed by the formation of three huge natural rockslide dams in the Yarlung-Tsangpo river, 200 km upstream from Tuting, in the aftermath of the series of earthquakes that struck the region in November last year.
In his letter to the prime minister, Ering said three natural rockslide dams have formed in the river due to blockage by landslides triggered by the earthquakes, which he said could prove disastrous for Arunachal Pradesh and other Northeastern states.
‘It is just a matter of time before the natural dams burst and unleash a severe disaster along the Siang river valley,” Ering, who represents Arunachal East parliamentary constituency, said, and urged the prime minister to take proactive steps to keep the people of Arunachal Pradesh safe from the danger.
‘The scale of the November landslides was so massive that just within 30 km of the river’s length, the mountain slopes have been stripped bare of forests and now are just mud and rock. Alarmingly, along 12 km of the river’s length, the landslides have partially blocked the river flow and have created three natural dams, one behind the other,’ Ering said.
‘Complicating the issue further, an avalanche has occurred on the Sendapu glacier – which feeds into the Yarlung-Tsangpo – between 21 and 27 October, 2017,’ the MP added.
Ering, who first raised the issue of the Siang river turning muddy, said that pools of water can be seen on the glacier surface, indicating that melting ice may have caused mud and rocks to slip. ‘This avalanche was not triggered by earthquakes. This was the first indication of the Siang being contaminated by natural reasons, and matches with the first reports given in early November by the people of Arunachal Pradesh,’ Ering said.
The earthquake of 6.4 magnitude that struck the Gyala Peri on 17 November was the largest and the shallowest earthquake since 1900 in that region, he said.
‘Satellite imagery by NASA and show that landslides of this size and danger level have not occurred in the Siang river for almost half a century,’ the MP said.
Earlier, on 25 November, Ering had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the matter of the Siang turning muddy, and had appealed to the PM to raise the issue in international forums.