Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 | Last Update : 09:53 PM IST

IAF rescues 19 people stranded on island in Arunachal’s swelling Siang

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : Aug 31, 2018, 7:08 pm IST
Updated : Aug 31, 2018, 7:08 pm IST

The stranded persons, engaged in dairy farming, had got trapped on the small island located in Sille-Oyan circle.

The rescue mission started at 4:30 am and was over in an hour. A total of 19 people stranded on the island were airlifted by the IAF helicopters. (Photo: Twitter | @PemaKhanduBJP)
 The rescue mission started at 4:30 am and was over in an hour. A total of 19 people stranded on the island were airlifted by the IAF helicopters. (Photo: Twitter | @PemaKhanduBJP)

Guwahati: The Indian Air Force on Friday evacuated at least 19 people stranded on an island of the Siang river which was swelling at an alarming rate in Arunachal Pradesh following the continuous discharge of water from the dams in China into Tsangpo river.

The deputy commissioner of East Siang district, Tamiyo Tatak, said: “The rescue mission started at 4:30 am and was over in an hour. A total of 19 people stranded on the island were airlifted by the IAF helicopters. Four youths and an elderly man chose to stay behind to look after their cattle.”

The stranded persons, engaged in dairy farming, had got trapped on the small island located in Sille-Oyan circle and due to surging water level and turbulence in the Siang, it was not possible to send rescue boats, he added.

Tatak said that he had sent a request to the IAF base in Mohanbari in Assam to airlift the stranded persons as it was not possible to land civilian helicopters on the small island.

Tatak, who is keeping a close watch on low-lying areas, however, said that water level of Siang was surging but there is no cause for panic. “We are monitoring the situation round the clock,” he added.

He admitted that turbulence and high wave of Siang has caused some erosion on the banks and washed away at least a dozen houses.

Though Assam government has also alerted the people in low-lying areas, the impact of water discharge by China was not visible as yet on Friday. The district administrations of Dibrugarh, Dhemaji and Lakhimpur are on high alert but water level of Brahmaputra was still below the danger mark.

“There is a gradual rise in the water levels of the Brahmaputra, but it is not flowing over the danger mark in Dibrugarh. There is no cause for panic yet,” sources in Dibrugarh district administration said on Friday.

Following a flood alert sent by China to India, the East Siang administration has asked people to refrain from venturing into the river for swimming, fishing and other activities. The discharge in the Tsangpo was 9020 cumec at 8 am on Wednesday, or the equivalent of 9.02 million litres of water flowing per second - the highest discharge in the river in 50 years.

The disaster management authorities in Assam said that they are prepared for any eventuality and even the Army has been kept on alert to help the civil administration in vulnerable areas of Upper Assam districts.

Tags: indian air force, siang river, arunachal pradesh, arunachal floods
Location: India, Assam, Guwahati (Gauhati)