Rivers Breaching and flowing close to HFLs in May-June 2022

In pre-monsoon month of May 2022 and first month of south west monsoon season June 2022, there have been Highest Flood Level (HFL) breach incidents at 5 sites on rivers in North East and North India. The rivers have also touched or missed crossing the HFLs at 6 sites in the region in these two months. This include Kopili river at Kampur Level Forecast (LF) site in Nagaon district of Assam breaching HFL[i] in both  May and June 2022 months and Barak river at Fulertal LF site in Cachar district, Assam narrowly missing HFL breach in May 2022 and breaching the extreme flood level in June 2022.

SANDRP has been tracking the HFL breach incidents during pre-monsoon and monsoon months for past four years. The analysis of such HFL breaches in 2018[ii], 2019[iii] and 2020[iv], May-Sept 2021[v], Oct.-Nov 2021[vi] can be seen on our website.

Details of HFL breaches in May-June 2022

Out of total 6 HFL breach incidents, 5 have taken place in later half of June 2022 and 1 in May 2022. Remarkably the Kopili river at Kampur site has stayed over old HFL for 149 hours in May 2022 and for 146 hours in June 2022 which seems unprecedented.

Slideshow of hydrographs showing HFL breach sequence by Kopili river at Kampur site in Nagaon, Assam in June 2022.

While the 5 HFL breach incidents have taken place in North East India (3 in Brahmaputra basin and 2 in Barak & other rivers basin) including 1 in Arunachal Pradesh and 4 in Assam, only 1 has occurred in North Indian state of Bihar in Ganga basin. 

Slideshow of hydrographs showing HFL breach sequence by Kopili river at Kampur site in Nagaon, Assam in May 2022.

The Dikrong river at Doimuk Level Monitoring (LM) site in Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh crossed the old HFL four times in four days between 15-19 June 2022. Similarly, Kopili river at Kheronighat LM site in Karbi Analong district of Assam breached the HFL twice in three days during 15-18 June 2022. 

Interestingly, the Mahananda river at Taibpur LF site in Kishangang district of Bihar has crossed the old HFL after 54 years. On other sites, the old HFLs were attained in July and August while breaches this time have taken place in pre monsoon and first month of south west monsoon season.

SNSiteRiver/ BasinDistrict/ StateWL/ DLOld HFLDateNew HFLDate/ TimeRise above old HFLAbove HFL for hours
1DoimukhDikrong Upper BrahmaputraPapum Pare ArPradesh 120.7 m26.08.2021121.08 m17.06.2022 12:00 hrs0.38 m46 hours
2KampurKopili BrahmaputraNagaon Assam59.5m 60.5m61.79 m20.07.200462.2 m18.06.2022 14:00 hrs0.41 m144 hours
2A      62.17 m20.05.2022 18:00 hrs0.38 m149 hours
3Kheroni-ghatKopili BrahmaputraKarbi Analong Assam 74.7 m19.07.200474.92 m17.06.2022 01:00 hrs0.22 m20 hours
4FulertalBarak Barak & othersCachar Assam22.88 m 23.88 m26.39 m21.07.200426.43 m  21.06.2022 01:00 hrs0.04 m17 hours
5TaibpurMahananda GangaKishanganj Bihar65 m/  66 m67.22 m10.08.196867.26 m29.06.2022 07:00 hrs0.04 m04 hours

Rivers that touched or reached close to HFLs in May-June 2022

All the 6 sites where rivers have touched or missed HFL breach with narrow margin are in Assam including 2 in Brahmaputra basin and 4 in Barak & other rivers basin.

SNSiteRiver/ BasinDistrict/ StateWL/ DLHFLDatePeak LevelDate/ TimeMissed crossing HFL by metres
1SuklaiSuklai BrahmaputraBaksa Assam 75.85 m25.06.202075.85 m16.06.2022 16:00 hoursTouched the HFL
2Dharam-tulKopili BrahmaputraMarigaon Assam55 m 56 m58.09 m21.07.200457.99 m21.06.2022 21:00 hours0.1 m
3KarimganjKushiyara Barak & othersKarimganj Assam13.94 m/ 14.94 m16.57 m10.06.201016.50 m  23.06.2022 10:00 hours0.07 m
4Badarpur-ghatBarak Barak & othersCachar Assam15.85 m 16.85 m18.48 m11.09.200718.44 m23.06.20220.04 m
5Anna-purnaghatBarak Barak & othersCachar Assam18.83 m/ 19.83 m21.84 m01.08.198921.59 m21.06.2022 14:00 hours0.25 m
6FulertalBarak Barak & othersCachar Assam22.88 m 23.88 m26.39 m21.07.200426.27 m19.05.2022 15:00 hours0.12 m

Slideshow of hydrographs showing rivers narrowly missing breaching HFL in June 2022.

In addition to these, Central Water Commission (CWC) website wrongly mentioned about Puthimari river at DRF site in Baksa district of Assam breaching HFL on June 19, 2022 while it was a case of incorrect data input. So far, CWC has not issued any clarification on the issue.

Although the officials state that the new HFLs would be updated at the end of monsoon season, in past there has been inconsistency in doing same by the CWC. Moreover, CWC has not been putting the HFL breach records in public domain. The CWC Flood forecasting site is also no providing all the information that it was providing till last year, the site has seen a major downturn this year.

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


[i] https://sandrp.in/2022/06/01/assam-kopili-river-flows-above-kampur-hfl-for-6-days-in-pre-monsoon-season/

[ii] https://sandrp.in/2018/11/08/hfl-crossing-flood-events-during-india-sw-monsoon-2018/

[iii] https://sandrp.in/2019/10/29/rivers-that-cross-highest-flood-level-during-sw-monsoon-2019/

[iv] https://sandrp.in/2020/10/03/rivers-that-reached-new-highest-flood-level-during-monsoon-2020/

[v] https://sandrp.in/2021/10/05/rivers-that-breached-hfl-in-south-west-monsoon-2021/

[vi] https://sandrp.in/2021/12/12/rivers-crossing-hfls-in-oct-nov-2021/

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