World News

China orders evacuations after landslide blocks Tibet river

military helicopter deployed-AP

round 6,000 people have been evacuated following a landslide in Tibet/Photo AP

BEIJING: Around 6,000 people have been evacuated following a landslide in Tibet that blocked the flow of one of the region’s key rivers, China’s emergency services said Thursday.

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A barrier lake was formed on the Yarlung Tsangpo, the headwater of India’s Brahmaputra River, following the Wednesday morning collapse of a cliff in the deep valley through which the river flows, the local emergency response bureau said in a report carried by state media.

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No deaths or injuries have been reported and the bureau said China has been keeping India updated on the blockage, which could potentially affect water levels in lower regions.

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The landslide struck near a village in Menling County and water in the lake had risen to a height of 40 meters (131 feet) by Thursday, the bureau said.

With its towering peaks and glaciers, Tibet is the source of numerous Asian rivers, adding to China’s strategic influence over its southern neighbors. Fast rising temperatures have caused those glaciers to melt at an increasing pace, throwing a shadow over future water resources for China and other Asian nations.

AP

posted on October 18, 2018