Heavy rains trigger flood alert

Flood Monitoring and Command Room is monitoring the water level in river basins

With river levels rising due to the rains, the National Centre for Hydrology & Meteorology (NCHM) issued a flood advisory yesterday afternoon.

The advisory stated that water levels were dropping, however, it could rise as more rainfall was expected. River basins of Amochhu, Wangchhu, Punatsangchhu, Drangmechhu, Mangdechhu, Kurichu and Chamkharchhu have been rising.

Engineer and In-charge with Flood Monitoring and Command Room (FMCR), NCHM, Sangay Tenzin said that there are early warning systems and automatic stations where people are placed to observe the level of water near the river basins. “The division is vigorously monitoring the level of water and would be updating the situation of water levels,” he said.

The advisory cautioned people living nearby mountain slopes, in low-lying areas and commuters to be alert for possible flash floods and landslides.

Sangay Tenzin said that people are worried mostly about the situation of glacial lakes melting and adding to the rise of water level. However, he said that the situation of glacial lakes melting has been moderate. “So far there has been no danger regarding the glacial lakes,” he said. “The division is monitoring potentially dangerous lakes at the source.”

NCHM also issued a press release on July 7, forecasting the possibility of heavy to very heavy rainfall over southern parts of the country in Samtse, Phuentsholing, Sarpang and Dagana and in eastern parts of Samdrupjongkhar and Pemagatshel within the next 72 hours.

He said that the river level has been rising intensely especially in southern and western river basins. The division has been closely observing the water level and predicts the intensity of rainfall through cloud movement.

Sangay Tenzin said that people tend to be careful only near major rivers and take small rivers for granted. “People should be careful of small tributaries as these small rivers are unpredictable,” he said.

According to him there are two major early warning systems and more than 30 monitoring stations across the country.

Rinchen Zangmo

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