Floods

Assam: Kopili River Flows above Kampur HFL for 6 Days in Pre-Monsoon Season

In the third week of May 2022, River Kopili at Kampur Level Forecast (LF) site in Nagaon district of Assam has witnessed Extreme Flood Situation. The flood level at the site not only crossed the Highest Flood Level (HFL) there after 18 years but also stayed over HFL unusually for about 149 hours. 

The warning and danger levels for the site are 59.5 metre and 60.5 metre respectively and the HFL is 61.79 metre attained on 20 July 2004.

The HFL was breached at 16:00 hours on May 15, 2022. The flood level remained above the HFL-61.79 m for next six days attaining new HFL 62.17 metre at 21:00 hours on May 18, 2022.

The new HFL 62.17 metre is 0.38 metre higher than the previous HFL 61.79 metre. The flood level came down the previous HFL at 21:00 hours on May 21, 2022, 149 hours after going above the HFL.

This is an unusual event on more than one count. Firstly, the Kopili river at Kampur LF site breached HFL in pre-monsoon season. Secondly, the river had stayed in extreme flood situation flowing above previous HFL for over 6 days.

Going by the records SANDRP has been maintaining on HFL breach events since 2018, no other river in North-East has witnessed this kind of extreme flooding.

Data on Rivers breaching HFLs in North East India Since 2018

2021: No site breached HFL during south west and north east monsoon period. https://sandrp.in/2021/10/05/rivers-that-breached-hfl-in-south-west-monsoon-2021/ ; https://sandrp.in/2021/12/12/rivers-crossing-hfls-in-oct-nov-2021/

2020

SNSiteRiverDistrict StateWL/ DLOld HFLDateNew HFLDate/ TimeRiseAbove HFL for hours
1SivasagarDikhowSibsagar Assam91.4 m 92.4 m94.23 m01.08.201894.24         22.06.2020 18:00 hrs0.01 m~16 hrs
2SuklaiSuklaiKamrup Assam 75.73 m25.09.201875.85 m25.06.20200.12 m~08 hrs

2019               

SNSiteRiverDistrict StateWL/ DLOld HFLDateNew HFLDate/ TimeRiseAbove HFL for hours
1AIE NH XINGAieBarpeta, Assam 53.26 m21.08.201553.27 m11.07.20190.01 m~06 hrs
2DhubriBrahma-putraDhubri, Assam 30.36 m28.08.199830.38 m18.07.20190.02 m~10 hrs

2018   

SNSiteRiverDistrict StateWL/ DLOld HFLDateNew HFLDate/ TimeRiseAbove HFL for hours
1ManughatManuNorth Tripura 46.6 m05.06.200148 m12.06.2018 16:00 hrs1.4 m~14 hrs
2Kaila-shaharManuNorth Tripura24.34 m 25.34 m25.79 m07.06.199325.95 m13.08.2018 18:00 hrs0.16 m~15 hrs
3SivasagarDikhowSibsagar Assam91.4 m 92.4 m94.19 m25.06.199894.21 m01.08.20180.02 m~16 hrs
4NumaligarhDhansiri (south)Golaghat Assam76.42 m 77.42 m79.87 m24.09.198580.18 m03.08.20180.31 m~61 jrs

Manu river is part of Naochchara and others basin. 

As per this record only 8 sites have breached HFLs in North East since 2018 and only one site Numaligarh on Dhansiri (south) river in Golaghat district, Assam stayed above previous HFL for about 61 hours on August 03, 2018 due to discharges from Doyang HEP.

The local people around the breach site on Kopili river this time have blamed the 275 MW Kopili Hydropower Dam of for aggravating flood situation in Kopili river. The controversial project has suffered a disaster on March 26, 2022 and officials deny sudden release of water from the dam.

Bhim Singh Rawat (bhim.sandrp@gmail.com)

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