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Gandak Canal gates opened, India officials alerted

Continuous landslides hamper efforts to unblock Kali Gandaki

The district authority in Nawalparasi on Sunday opened the gates of the Gandak Canal after the landslide at Ramche in Myagdi district blocked the Kali Gandaki river in the wee hours of Sunday.

According to Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), Chief District Officer of Nawalparasi, Hari Prasad Mainali, said that all the 36 doors of the Gandak Canal were opened to prevent the sudden bursting of the blocked river. The district authorities fear that if the sudden flow Kali Gandaki, a tributary of Ganga river, added to the swelling of Narayani river, the region could be submerged. Gandal Canal is a joint irrigation and power project between India and Nepal were Mr. Mainali said that authorities in neighbouring India have also been informed as the impact could be felt in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh of India.

The Nepal Army personnel who have been deployed to clear the blockade on the river at Ramche in Myagdi – where the landslides occurred – were unable to do their work due to continuous landslides, officials said. According to Nepal Police, they are trying to reopen the blocked Beni-Jomsom road, besides trying to unclog Kali Gandaki.

The landslide occurred at 1.20 a.m. local time Sunday. It blocked Kali Gandaki river at Ramche in Myagdi district in western part of Nepal, Nepal Police said. So far, no human casualty were reported as yet. Police said the landslide created a dam of about 150-200m deep, 1 km long and about 100m wide.

In its update, the police said that 116 people from 13 families in Ramche area have been evacuated to a safe place. The police also appealed to people living along the banks of the river to remain alert.

Many settlements along the banks of the Kali Gandaki have been evacuated. At high risk are Beni Bazar, district headquarters of Myagdi and Kali Gandaki Hydroelectric project site. Many residents of Beni Bazar have reportedly left the area.

The authorities of the power plant released stored water to avoid any flash flood in the event of the temporary landslide-created dam at Ramche bursting.

Police has maintained high alert status for eight of the nine districts – Myagdi, Baglung, Parbat, Gulmi, Syangja, Palpa, Tanahun and Nawalparasi – for settlements along the banks of the river. Mustang district has been taken off the list.

Triggering of landslides have been reported in western and central Nepal after the earthquake of April 25 and its aftershock, the most severe of them occurring on May 12.

More than 8,600 were killed and over 21,000 injured.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 1:16:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/gandak-canal-gates-opened-india-officials-alerted/article7241437.ece

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